Almost every YouTube video we watched warned of them and instructed how they could be avoided. We thought we followed the experts instructions…but alas and alack…there they were…
What is a leggy seedling you ask? I had to ask too and didn’t really know until weak, long saggy, yellow seedlings appeared in our planters.
Here’s a definition: Seedlings that have long, thin and pale stalks and small leaves. The stem gets weak. It can’t hold itself up. Oof Dah!
What can be done you ask? Me too!
- Gently brush the tops of the plants or set up fans to simulate the natural wind. The motion stimulates the plant to grow a nice thick stem. The picture above shows two fans set up to reach all three layers of plant shelving. Yes one of the fans is resting atop a laundry basket.
- Make sure that they are only 2″ under the grow light. Tactical error. We planted multiple types of plants in the planters. Some germinated and grew faster than others. It was difficult to make sure that all plants were only 2″ under the lamps.
- A main culprit is an outside row leaning toward the middle, stretching to get to the light. Rotate the planters to assure that the plants will begin to lean the other way and straighten themselves out.
- Fertilize. We are using a half strength fish fertilizer one day per week.
We were amazed how just 24 hours perked many of them up.
Our education is no where near at an end. A master gardener in Germantown told us to be patient, it takes up to 3 years to really learn how to garden.
Three each 3′ x 5′ elevated raised garden beds arrived Saturday. The soil should arrive the weekend before Mother’s Day. We can hardly wait to transfer our seedlings to the beds and plant the vegetables that we couldn’t start from seed like carrots and radishes and most of the herbs!
You may have noticed that there are 3 containers of basil now. Beth and her daughter Madison bought an established basil plant and used it start several other basil plants. The first 24 hours it showed significant transfer shock, but 3 days later they are all healthy and hale. Maybe we can do this!
The unseasonably warm temperatures make it more difficult to avoid one of the new gardener mistakes…planting before the final frost…
Come on Mother’s Day!