Need more help w/seedlings- light, water, etc

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by Leah IL, Apr 22, 2005.

  1. Leah IL

    Leah IL momto6

    Aug 14, 2004
    Ok, all my seedlings are growing now.

    I had them about a half inch under fluorescent light for a couple of weeks after they sprouted, and now I am moving the light up slowly. Right now it is about 1 1/2- 2 inches over the seedlings. When should I move it up higher and how high?

    Also, I was very careful not to overwater as to not encounter the dreaded damp off. But now that everyone is happy and growing, do I increase my watering? I was waiting until the peat pots were relatively dry and then I'd water from the bottom. Do I continue doing that, or should I water more often? I think the tomatoes are looking a bit shriveled.

    And how high will my seedlings get before I transplant them? Right now at about 3 weeks they are less than 2" tall.

    And what about fertilizer? Can I use something now or should I wait until they are outside?

  2. bonnie lass

    bonnie lass Semper Fi

    Nov 3, 2004
    Beautiful Cape Cod
    It's hard to say about the watering, I do it by sight, but the seedlings can be transplanted when they get their first "true" set of leaves. The first 2 leaves are dicots, or seed leaves, the second pair are the first true leaves. Go ahead and fertilize if you are using something gentle like fish/seaweed food, but wait a bit if you are using something harsher.

  3. mama2littleman

    mama2littleman El Paso

    Nov 8, 2004

    Your watering regimine sounds fine. Don't let them dry out so much that they turn into peat bricks <g>, but letting the top inch or so of soil go dry is fine. About the lighting. As long as they are under artificial light, keep the lights withing 1-2 inches of the tops of the seedlings, otherwise they'll strech out to reach the light and you will end up with leggy seedlings.

    About transplanting ... Bonnie lass is on the money. Wait until the have their first true set of leaves at least.

    Fertilizer. They probably don't need it, but if you feel the need I wouldn't go with anything stronger than 1/4 strength. Avoid the fish emulsion if the plants are still indoors (stinks like fish) but there are a couple of Kelp/seaweed fertilizers that work pretty well.

    Have fun!

  4. LaDonna

    LaDonna Well-Known Member

    Nov 15, 2004
    I press my finger into the soil if none remains when I remove my finger, then it needs water. I would hold off on fertilizer for now. I agree with Niki about the transplanting. Start taking them outside weather permiting in a protected area. Gradually increase sun. I satart with early moring sun and then increase.
  5. GrannySue

    GrannySue Active Member

    Feb 24, 2005
    IL - currently
    The watering sounds fine - all my little guys are in six-packs at the moment, up from a starter tray. I wait till the soil turns a bit light in color and then water. I also spray mine with plain water once or twice a day, but some folk say that spoils them rotten (just like too many toys for kids, I guess!!)

    I start mine in miracle-gro soil. First set of true leaves gets them bigger pots (more soil, lol!). Third set of true leaves gets them a bit more miracle-gro in the water. Then once they are outside, depending on weather, they get it again at every three to five weeks.