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so .. my first sowing attempts made on sunday 16th, all have germinated bar the parsley (which i was expecting to be slow). these were started off in a propogator on a west window, and once the seeds came up, i lifted the lids off (but probably a couple of days late).
since, the marigold varieties in particular have grown a lot, but they are all suffering from 'window lean' ... see picture:
im trying to rotate them, but im not sure if these are doing ok .. can someone give me a little nudge in the right direction of what i might need to do next?
this first 2 pics are calendula (the biggest ones), next to them lettuce (mixed), then tagetes, then dainty marietta.
the second pic is aubretia, then gardeners delight cherry tom, and red alert cherry tom.
Hello Mike. Thanks for your post. i was really worried about the leaning, i suspect also i didnt sow them deep enough. the calendula and lettuce also seem close together but is it best to be patient and wait til they have other leaves before thinning them out?
i have turned the trays as regularly as possible - morning and evening. im at work during the day so dont have access to them. auxiliary lighting, no idea where to start with that. sadly im quite limited in what i have available at my temporary location ... but rest assured ill do my best.
i gave them a little watering from the bottom tonight. drained before it reached the surface, so the soil isnt wet but moist. i decided to do this after i dipped my finger into the soil when i came back tonight half deep and it seemed slightly dry.
You might try a board (carboard?) covered in aluminium foil behind the seedlings to reflect light onto their other side. This should reduce the need to keep them turning.
Seems like good advice from Mike, too. Modules (cell trays) are really useful; you can prick out into them (or even sow in them in the first place to reduce the fiddling about).
Oh - and parsley can easily take three weeks to germinate, so don't worry about that, yet. Just keep it moist - a lid will help.
I'm not offended in the slightest, Mike - skin like a rhino, me.
But I do disagree about reflecting the light. Any extra light on the 'dark' side will reduce the translocation of auxin and hence reduce cell elongation on that side but clearly, the brighter the better. A sheet of white paper helps a little. A mirror would be even better - and I've used both methods successfully in this situation.
Cheers. Time for bed.
seedlings as of yesterday afternoon:
aubretia and tomato:
(L to R) Calendula, Lettuce, Dainty Marietta, Tagetes
Tagetes close up:
Lettuce close up:
Calendula close up:
how do they look? the tagetes are the first to come through with true leaves .. are these now ready to prick out?
lettuce look like they have 1 true leaf, the dainty are coming through just about and the calendula still havent produced theirs.
by the way - when pricking these out - i plan to put them 1 each per module cell in a new tray. i used John Innes 1, do i use the same again or it do they need some nutrients now they are growing on?
Thanks everyone ..
Yeah - give each one its own space. Plant them a little deeper to encourage more roots and give them a bit of support. Tomatoes especially benefit from this. Water them a hour or two before and take as much of the compost as poss that's sticking to their roots with them. Actually the toms can go straight into 3" pots (or modules of a similar size) - and they'll've outgrown those before you know it! Handle them all by the leaves. The stems are very delicate and irreplaceable; the leaves are neither. Use a plant label to lift them out and a pencil (or a finger) to make the new planting holes.
Conventional wisdom would say you should move on to JI no. 2 at this stage, or a multi-porpoise compost as it has more nutrients. Tomatoes yes. Others, maybe not - keep them a bit hungry so they get a bit tougher, if you have some seed compost left. Otherwise the other stuff will do.
Water the compost well before you put the babies in.
Even your parsley has come up inside a fortnight so you must be doing something right!
thanks for the tips Steve. would you prick all these out now, even those without true leaves yet? it would be easier if i could do it all today, rather than do it in batches during the week ... but if i have to wait for the others to come through a bit stronger then ill wait. the aubretia and parsley in particular look like they are too small to handle now, so should i leave those and just prick out the tomatoes, marigolds and lettuce?
i have 2 trays of 3 inch pots (so about 100 in total. better to have more than not enough!) ready for the bigger plants, eg tomatoes to go into.
planting them deeper - so i dunk them in with the seed leaves just above the compost surface?