Advice require-Seeds growing too tall and weedy looking!

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ladykathryn
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Advice require-Seeds growing too tall and weedy looking!

Post: # 53903Post ladykathryn
Thu Apr 12, 2007 7:07 pm

I have started cabbage, carrots and kolh rabi(sp?) from seed. The problem I have is that my kitchen is about 60-70F during the day. Sorry about the lack of ability to convert. Let's just say its nice and warm. My plants seem to be growing too fast.

Not that I'm complaining really but they end up stringy and getting far too tall too fast. Leaving me with weed like plants rather than fat chunky ones. I have some plugs coming but wanted very much to try my hand at everything.

I know I must be doing something wrong. Any suggestions.

I have more cabbage seeds, and carrots as well. But I would like to know if these tall skinny plants are beyond saving.

Thanks for all the help I know I will have some good useful comments in here! :?
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Post: # 53905Post paradox
Thu Apr 12, 2007 7:17 pm

I would think tall and skinny seedlings is down to lack of light more than anything.
Mind you this is my first proper year growing veg so i may be wrong.

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Post: # 53919Post Shirley
Thu Apr 12, 2007 8:38 pm

I was going to suggest that a lack of light might be a problem too - but again, I'm no expert.

Carrots - we've recently had a thread about whether it's best to sow them directly into the ground. I will be doing that with mine rather than starting them off in trays.
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Post: # 53922Post flower
Thu Apr 12, 2007 8:55 pm

kohl rabis and carrots sulk if transplanted :?

cabbages hmmmm... mine are all outside within a day of germination, either in a coldframe or, if it's really cold with a lemonade bottle cloche on.
get your plants outside, especially during the day.
they may need to be hardened off a bit first after being so snug in your kitchen :wink:

legginess is caused by lack of light. some people advocate a tin foil covered backplate to maximise reflection...never tried it myself.

tomatoes and peppers can be buried up to their leaves and will make roots all over the buried stem.

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Post: # 53924Post red
Thu Apr 12, 2007 9:24 pm

Shirlz wrote:
Carrots - we've recently had a thread about whether it's best to sow them directly into the ground. I will be doing that with mine rather than starting them off in trays.
yeh me too - even though I am complete pants at growing things directly outsid - I have sown my carrots direct.
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ladykathryn
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Confused Can't be lack of light??

Post: # 53956Post ladykathryn
Fri Apr 13, 2007 9:58 am

Many apologies to everyone but I am still a bit cornfuzed (normal for me actually) :?

The place where all my seedlings are located is a very large window in my kitchen it gets light all day long, indirect light in the morning direct sunlight for most the afternoon.

I have tried moving them toward the back door to the garden (which is a glass door) and still then end up taller rather than fatter. This happened to my herbs which grew very tall and didn't survive.

My peppers didn't get so much light and they seem to be growing slowly outside in the cold frame now.

Could it possibly be that they need less light??? And are growing too fast? Or perhaps I am letting them stay too long in their wee pots and they need to go outside sooner?


I will try planting the carrots direct, I am going to use a large planter rather than in the veg garden to protect them from carrot fly and so the slug meanies don't bother the sweet wee things.

Will try a few cabbages in the same way then transplant them.

The sweet peas are coming along nicely in the same window...I'm sure you all will have more suggestions. Thank you very much for your kind suggestions so far!! :cheers:
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Post: # 53959Post Thomzo
Fri Apr 13, 2007 10:17 am

If I can remember all the way back to my biology lessons (and they were a long time ago) plant stem cells stop lengthening in direct light. That is why plants tend to bend towards the light. Therefore, long spindly stems can not be due to too much light but are almost certainly due to a lack of it.

Even a big kitchen window can't provide as much light as being outside. The glass itself will reflect quite a lot of it and the angle of the light through a flat window will limit the time that they are getting full sun. Also, it's possible that the glass could be filtering out some of the more important wave lengths that allow the plants to develop properly.

I would agree with the others. Put them outside during the day. That way they'll get access to more light and start the hardening off process.

Small pots might also be a problem as they will restrict root growth. Try potting them on.

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Post: # 53983Post Andy Hamilton
Fri Apr 13, 2007 12:34 pm

I once had a problem with 'leggy' seedlings due to lack of light. They were by a window but not close enough to it at around 1 foot away. In some circumstances 1 foot is enough, not for my poor beetroot though.

I am wondering if it is anything to do with your growing medium? What have you planted them in?
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ladykathryn
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Growing medium

Post: # 54064Post ladykathryn
Fri Apr 13, 2007 5:05 pm

Stuff from B&Q that claims to be growing bag, and some worm cast I have. I don't use peat anymore too many questions about it's sustainability. I don't use any fertilizers, or such because I feel the seeds simply don't need it. The window sill is quite short and right next to the window.

Might try a mixture of wormcast and grow bag stuff. Maybe the soil is too rich for these particular veggies. The carrots are quite small just yet, have moved them to a grow light in the cupboard as an experiment. We have one of these that we use to keep some of my lillies in good shape when the winters are cold. The light is far away enough just to put them into sleep mode. Seems to work well. Not so sure about veggies though.

I am used to the plant and spit method. My grandfather said that all you needed to do in washington was throw a seed on the ground and spit on it and it would grow in Washington state. Of course he was joking but he wasn't far wrong. The growing season is quite long and plants don't need too much care...except for the slugs of course.

I will try most things that folk suggest so go ahead and list a few. I will let you know what works best. I'm sure together we will figure it out. :flower: thank you so very much.

supposed to be cold tonight so some of my babies are in the kitchen keeping safe from frost.
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Post: # 54156Post Wombat
Sat Apr 14, 2007 10:54 am

Leggy seedlings a DEFINITELY due to lack of light. Perhaps the light intensity is just not enough for long enough where they are. In my expereince even well grown seedlings can go leggy very rapidly when placed in a low light situation. A south facing cold fram sounds like the way to go to me! :mrgreen:

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Thanks very much

Post: # 54193Post ladykathryn
Sat Apr 14, 2007 3:02 pm

I have restarted these little darlings, the ones that were doing well have gone outdoors today to play. Hopefully they will make nice friends such as the bumble bee, and butterfly which are beginning to appear in my garden. Blue berry bushes when in today...my garden is finally looking like a PROPER garden with STUFF going on. The birds are loving it. Strawberries are thriving. I have always done well with these. Peas are doing fab...thank you so much to everyone. Won't make the same mistake. Bit too much water as well...so I AM LEARNING...great stuff. I knew you all would be helpful. :cheers:
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ladykathryn
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Your suggestion has worked

Post: # 54392Post ladykathryn
Mon Apr 16, 2007 6:44 pm

Light must have been the problem. I started some marrow and put them outside in the cloche where it's warm and gets sunlight all day. They are growing as expected, not tall and weedy but short and fat. Just like me.. :lol:

So from now on the window sill will be used only until they peek out and then outside into the greenhouse or the cloche for them. Will start them later next year so that everything will have a proper chance for some warm sunshine.

Great stuff as this is my first year I expect a few bumps. But next year should be brilliant. I have planted my blueberry bushes, and we are very popular with the bumble bees now. Everything is starting to peek out of the ground now with it being so lovely and warm in Scotland.
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