London (change)
Today 15°C / 8°C
Tomorrow 18°C / 6°C
11 messages
17/05/2012 at 16:21

Hello - I had a go at planting all sorts of seeds and everything seems to have bolted and gone really leggy.  What am I doing wrong?  Is it something to do with the light?  I put my pots in a tray in front of some french doors, really light and bright.  Should I have put them outside to germinate??  Or somewhere cool and shaded??  Any help much apprecaited as always!

17/05/2012 at 16:54

Seedlings going leggy is often due to inadequate light. The little things try and reach up to the light source, and if the light only comes from one direction, they lean towards it. Turning the tray/pot daily will minimise the latter. Depending on what seeds you've sown, potting them on deeply, say to the level of the seed, not true, leaves, and improving their light source might help. Is the tray on the floor or raised up? Excess heat can also cause lankiness, so putting them outside during the day (if it's not too vile) and bringing them in for the night for a few days, then they will be hardened off and be able to cope with the big outside world, but do be wary of late frosts, depending on species. And they don't need feeding at this stage either.

17/05/2012 at 16:55

Plants bolt when they flower and go to seed. I assume that your seeds haven't flowered yet, and are simply spindly?

If so, the problem is lack of light combined with too much heat. Once seeds have germinated they do best in a cooler place - too much heat will make them grow too fast and become leggy.

What kind of seeds did you plant, and when?

17/05/2012 at 17:17

Thanks figrat and Alina W .  

Ahhhh - yep, the radiators are on in the room and the tray is on the floor so they probably are reaching for light. 

Sorry, I'm not great at the techncial lingo yet so rather than bolting they are just 'leggy'!  I'm learning so much... also to label seeds (which I failed to do)!!  I got so carried away, and thought I'd remember everything that I planted, only to completley forget when they starter to come up!  Definately sweat peas, tomatoes and corriander though, and some flowers called 'lace caps' (which are more leggy than than a group of super models in 6" heels)!  I planted them a couple of months ago. 

17/05/2012 at 17:22

Can you tell which is which?

17/05/2012 at 17:24

If you can't, try and post some pictures and we'll do our best to help.

17/05/2012 at 17:26

Just - although I did get the lace caps and the corriander muddled up!  It was only the smell that gave it away when the stems snapped when I was trying to untangle them all!  Doh!!!

17/05/2012 at 17:28

OOh, I'll do that as there is one that i just can't remember!  That's so kind!  Thank you!  Just grabbing my camera!

17/05/2012 at 17:29

Sweet peas should be recognizable by the tendrils that they produce to climb, whilst tomato leaves have a distinct smell when you touch them. The sweet peas really should be outside by now - as already suggested, put them outside during the day.

17/05/2012 at 17:30

Hope you've labelled them now! If you haven't got any labels, cut up an old yoghurt pot or similar and use that. If you've had to untangle them, it makes me think that they're getting a bit crowded and could do with pricking out and potting on. When you do that, replant them deeply up to level of seed leaves. The tomatoes are very frost tender, where are you thinking of growing them? 

17/05/2012 at 18:53

Have taken photos but having trouble uploading them.  Oh dear, I'm not doing well on any front! 

Thanks ever so much for the hints and tips.  I might try again whenthe other half returns as he's much better at all this techncial stuff then me!

email image
11 messages