London (change)
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23/04/2013 at 12:43

If they are tall and leggy and falling over there is two reasons for this, lack of light or damping off.

Lack of light will cause the plants to stretch upwards seeking out light, they will compete against each other for this and become leggy, once leggy they have no strength in their stems to hold them up.

If they are only very, small i.e. 1/2cm then it probably is damping off caused by a virus.  Pots not washed properly from previous seed sowing can carry the virus, in future wash pots thoroughly in hot soapy water with a dash of detergent to kill virus' present.

Don't loose heart, all gardeners suffer from these issues for example i'm on my second sowing of parsnip seeds and still trying to get them to germinate - I'm not disapointed or frustrated as I know how tempermental they are to germinate and they take a long time, eventually Ill get some going.

24/04/2013 at 21:13

MMPaws, they are Eringeum Gigantium and eringium alpinum superbum (love the name) any tips? I have until July to plant them.

24/04/2013 at 21:24

Eryngium giganteum are easy artjak. All that in and out of the fridge business can be avoided by sowing them when the plant naturally drops it's seed and leaving them outside to sort themselves out. After that they just go round and round in the garden as long as you let them seed.

E.planum germinated well but I couldn't keep it alive long term

24/04/2013 at 21:29

Damping off is fungal disease and can often be seen as a mass of white fungal growth - though not always. There is nothing you can do to save seedlings that have fallen prey to this, but it is pretty obvious then that they are dying. If they look healthy, they are probably just reaching for the sky to get more light and often something CAN be done to save them. You can pot on quite new seedlings, providing there is enough leaf to hold them by (don't hold the stem). Healthy young seedlings are quite tough and even ones you pull out and discard don't die for a couple of days (making you feel like a murderer, I find). If the stem is too long, put some of it under the soil surface. Pinch out the tops as soon as there are enough leaves for them to survive if you do. Don't give up on them until it is obvious you have to. They will be quite likely to be OK.

24/04/2013 at 21:33

GG  'feeling like a murderer' is the reason I always end up with far more plants than I need. I'm up to my eyes in pricked out seedlings now.

24/04/2013 at 21:41

Me too, Nut. They feel like my children. I was thinking of posting photos of my windowsills to show off my babies!

24/04/2013 at 21:45

yes, do that GG. I'd love to see the photos.

24/04/2013 at 21:45


24/04/2013 at 22:03

I'll have a stab tomorrow then!

25/04/2013 at 13:59

Hi there Im pretty new to seed sowing too and I have to say its alot of trial and error with me as well....

This is a fantastic place to get all the help and advice you need I often spend the evening reading through all the threads gathering all the info.

I have got myself a little greenhouse now and am having fun trying to grow things...some are now a 3rd attempt and I feel so happy when I see those little green shoots poking their heads out of the soil....DON'T GIVE UP

25/04/2013 at 16:53

Haven't done those photos yet.  Its been a very busy day. I'm surprised anybody is interested, but I appreciate the interest  , and I'll try tomorrow.

25/04/2013 at 17:04

Of course we're interested GG. I've had a heavy pricking out day. I had to go and get more compost.

25/04/2013 at 17:25

I got more yesterday, Nut. Waiting for the next batch to get big enough now, though.

25/04/2013 at 17:41

I sowed another batch this week, a few I had through the seedswap and tomatoes I missed on the first sowing. And some courgettes, haven't done veg for years.

25/04/2013 at 19:48

I'm putting in two new borders and mixing a few veg in with the flowers. I'm not a veg gardener, not enough room, but I thought I'd experiment with decorative veg, Still have lots of seeds to plant.

25/04/2013 at 20:46

Dan, don't give up!  I tried FOREVER with basil and it was really tricky (and then one year it just romped away, and I don't know what I did differently. 

To keep your morale up (!) do what I did - buy one pot of basil from garden centre (or actually sometimes the ones from the supermarket work), and immediately gently tease out all the individual pieces and pot them up each in a pot of their own. Water nicely and put in the sun.  Mine all took root and grew fantastically well, and I felt like a proper gardener (they tasted fabulous too).

I never tried thyme from seed - I would think it would be very tricky indeed.  It is a perennial, so I'd say worth buying a nice healthy plant from garden centre and growing on - it will last for years and years.  That way you can sniff it before buying, too, and make sure it is the sort you want!

25/04/2013 at 21:05

Gardening grandma

Why not grow a few runner beans in your border?  Flower for most of the summer and delicious fresh beans

As nut said, of course we are Interested

25/04/2013 at 21:14

Rosie, common thyme germinates very quickly but a packet of seeds costs as much as a pot of thyme. So I reckon your pot from the GC is the best bet.

25/04/2013 at 21:18

How nice, Verdun! I have been wondering about growing dwarf runner beans in a tub. They could look quite decorative, I thought. I have also got beet to grow for the red leaves and artichokes for drama. I've only planted 4 artichoke seeds, though. I also have various herb seeds for a herb pot.

26/04/2013 at 14:35

Thanks nutcutlet, didn't know that!

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