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Hi all. Recently discovered my interest in gardening. Its so relaxing even though its a lot of work. Keeps me busy though. Thing is i am inexperienced and still have many casualties, especially when growing from seed. Lobelia for example. The packets all say easy to grow but mine gets to about 3mm and drops I use a propagator or not... When are we supposed to take them out of the propagator into the window sill? I worry they will get to dry to early. And when do we re-pot? I know we should repot in clumps but its sooo fidly with the little ones i would love some advice. Thanks for your answers.

It sounds like you are suffering from 'damping off', this is a regular problem if the compost is too wet. I mix mine with 50% sand to keep it dry. It is also very easy with small seeds to sow them too thickly and this makes them all collapse.

Hi m0rce,

Sounds like your suffering from 'damping off' of your seedlings.

A couple of things that might help - Mix the seeds with some silver sand before you sow them - it'll help reduce the problem of sowing tiny seeds so thickly: water sown seeds from the bottom - put your seed tray in a gravel tray of water and let them soak up the moisture from below rather than water them in with a watering can - you see when the compost starts to glisten that they are watered enough. When they start to sprout water with a solution of Cheshunt compound - a powder that you dilute and use to prevent damping off. As soon as you see the seedlings take off the cover to prevent too much moisture building up - another cause of damping off. Seedlings can get scorched from the sun on a windowsill (especially if south facing) so you may need to move them.

As for repotting - you can put the little clumps in 3" pots when they have their set of proper leaves. You might want to try sowing a few seeds in 2" pots instead of in a tray - then you would just need to repot into bigger pots and might find that easier.

Hope it helps.


Just one point-I think you have left it too late to sow more lobelia for this year-you should find plants in garden centes now though.


I agree, too late to sow now, buy them in. 

For future reference, this is how I sow lobelia, these are very easy to sow.


Sow on the surface of compost in rows/lines. Don't cover with compost. Put the tray into a carrier bag and place in a warm room. Mist every day. Once germination has taken place take out of bag and continue to mist until watering with a can is possible...


...if sowing per cell, tap twice on the seed packet for correct amount of seed per single cell. 

Theres a reason why you can get up to 3000 seeds in each packet - you need a cluster of seeds to produce a decent sized plant.




@marshmello they are very healthy looking plants, what sort of carrier bag do you use, supermarket or clear??

heey all, thanks for the great tips.

Those plants look amazing, i will certainly try your method.

I was also thinking about using the small fibre pots or even the compost tablets you seed the wet and it expands. What do you think?


dianejones1701 wrote (see)

When they start to sprout water with a solution of Cheshunt compound - a powder that you dilute and use to prevent damping off.

Hi Diane.

Thanks for that. I will look out for it.


@ kate, any carrier bag will do so long as its not opaque - I use supermarket.

@morce, I have never used fibre pots or compost tablets I just like using loose compost, traditional trays and cells - this works for me.


Thanks marshmello

Thanks all. I wont sow any more now as you say its to
o late but i will take all these tips next time.

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