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11 messages
26/02/2013 at 15:05

I have recently sown some Greyhound cabbage seeds in single modules of a polystyrene tray which I placed on a heated tray. I used multi-purpose compost.

The idea was to have small plants which could be potted on individually rather than the random, overcrowded nature of my normal seed sowing!

80% of the seeds are now up and, despite removing the tray from the heat (its now just on an indoor shelf near the window in the house), the stems are an average of 2" long before the first pair of seed leaves. These leggy plants are what I am trying to avoid.

The stems of tomato seeds I planted are also around 1" before the seed leaves.

What am I doing wrong?   

 

26/02/2013 at 15:09

Usually leggy plants mean there isn't enough light. One reason I don't sow seeds until March, but others do. I don't have a light enough window sill and the greenhouse is too cold.

26/02/2013 at 15:09

Keeping the far too warm-cabbage does not need heat to germinate-and not giving term enough all round light

The same with the tomatoes-do you have a greenhouse?

When you pot on you can bury the stems up to the first sets of leaves-but unless you can give them the right follow on treatment is is worth waiting and not starting so early.

26/02/2013 at 15:18

Thanks Busy-Lizzie and sotongeoff. Yes, I do have a greenhouse but its not heated.

26/02/2013 at 15:23

I would get the cabbages in the greenhouse now-give them a bit of protection for these cold nights-you want tough plants to put in the garden

The tomatoes need better light-but it will be too cold in the greenhouse at present

26/02/2013 at 15:38

Thanks, I'll do that. I'll also try sowing a few inside but not on a heated surface.

Its always frustrating seeing solid, compact-looking brassica seedlings in garden centres around March/April so I'm trying to replicate!

26/02/2013 at 15:52

I started off some chilli, tomato and cucumber seeds in a propagater ( is it an o or an e at the end?) within a week they are all germinated and now sitting on the bathroom window ledge. Never known them to be that quick.

26/02/2013 at 15:55

All my brassica seeds have now germinated in a cold GH. I just left them on a shelf and because of the damp weather have not even found the need to water them

Sounds good way to grow your seedlings maud 

26/02/2013 at 16:00

Gatehill, we have a Nursery just up the road with fields of greenhouses, they produce those solid looking early plants by giving artificial light and moderating the air temperature and it shows in the price they charge.
Here in the North East we wait, sowing early does not give an early start as normal sown seeds catch up and often produce edible stuff at the same time as early seeds. Patience is the best advice to give a gardener and light is often more important than heat, unless you are growing rhubarb.

Frank.

26/02/2013 at 16:02

it really cheered me up being able to start sowing seeds. Its been a long wet winter and im ready for some sunshine.

26/02/2013 at 18:50

The good news is you can bury the stem of both brassicas and tomatoes, planting them up to the first leaves but, IME, it's always better to wait a bit before sowing unless you have a very well lit place which remains between 5C and 15C.  The windowsill in an unheated room is usually about right.  Centrally heated rooms are too warm.  To maximise light, you can place part of a cardboard box covered in tin foil behind them, so the front of the seedlings get light directly from the window and the back of the plants get light reflected from the foil.

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