Homesteading Forum banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Over the last 10 years, I have determined I am incapable of starting seeds. I'd like to change that. I wanted to try again and start some veggies to grow indoors for winter.

I have great luck getting seeds to germinate. But once they are about 2" tall they all die on me. I have some molding and some wiliting in the same tray. I don't get it? :shrug:

This spring, my mom was taking care of the seedlings because I was on complete bedrest. Out of 3 trays (72 pellets each) NOTHING made it into the ground.

What could I be doing wrong? I use fresh, name-brand seeds. Pot in jiffy peat pellets in the big trays... I can't figure it out.

I'd like to grow a big cherry tomato this fall/winter. DH loves cherry tomatoes!
 

·
Accidental Farmer
Joined
·
14,837 Posts
For 30 bucks I made a growing stand for things like that indoors---

I bought a plastic shelving (walmart) that has three shelves, some grow lights, one for each shelf, and some foil for reflecting the light back at the plants---

I use a small fan to blow and circulate air on the plants so the seedlings are stronger for going outside in the spring.

Works for me...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,427 Posts
switch from the pellets to seed starting mix and set up some shop light for them to grow under. the lights need to be only 2 inches above the plants to get enough light.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
You said you have some molding. I always soak my resuseable trays in bleach water before I plant in them to kill the fungus (sp) spores. I also set up a fan to blow lightly on the the plants and you also need to put your light very close to the plants. A little crispness on the tips will not hurt the plants and your stems will grow thick rather than long and stringy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,576 Posts
Vanne said:
I have great luck getting seeds to germinate. But once they are about 2" tall they all die on me. I have some molding and some wiliting in the same tray. I don't get it? :shrug:
this sounds like 'damping off' disease caused by a fungus.

check out this link for some good info about that:

http://tomclothier.hort.net/page13.html

I start seedlings in the basement where it's about 75 degrees, warm soil, good ventilation. water the seeds, but don't have it overwatered or sitting where it can't drain through the sterile soilless mix (or sterile soil peat pot).
I like to sprinkle a thin layer about 1/8" of loose pure spagnum fine peat over the top of the seedlings after planting. This seems to help, though it's not a cure if other conditions aren't good.
Once the seedlings germinate, under the shop lights they go that are kept about 4 inches above the top height of the seedlings. Damping off fungus favours cool, wet and unoxygenated conditions of the soil mostly. If indoors, it's more of a threat when starting seedlings than when planting seeds direct outdoors in the garden.
 

·
Very Dairy
Joined
·
14,609 Posts
Use a quality sterilized potting mix. For containers, I like to use 3 oz. disposable plastic bathroom cups. Poke a couple holes in the bottom for drainage. Fill with moistened soil, plant seeds, cover to recommended depth. The soil should be about as moist as a wrung-out sponge. Cover your flats with plastic. I like to slide them into clear plastic trash bags. (Poke some popsicle sticks into a few cups to keep the plastic from laying directly on the soil.)

Place your flat under a fluorescent light and leave it on 24/7 until the seeds germinate. REMOVE THE PLASTIC AS SOON AS THE SEEDS GERMINATE! (Or take the pots that have sprouted out of the bag.) Keep them in a warm place -- cold and damp seem to encourage the growth of mold. Leave the lights on 12-16 hours a day.

Water the seedlings with a watering can that has a long, fine spout. Avoid getting the seedlings wet. DON'T OVER-WATER! Give them a small amount of water every day, instead of a lot at once. If you accidentally over-water, and get them soggy, spread a little bit of dry soil over the top of the soil in the cup. If any pots show signs of mold, isolate them immediately, or transplant the seedling into dryer soil if possible.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,388 Posts
Sounds like damping off to me, too.

Quit using the peat pellets and use sterile six-pack or nine-pack trays with seed starting mix (NOT potting mix) in them. Don't use anything with fertilizer mixed in.

Water from the bottom (water the big tray, not the six- or nine-packs).

The fan is a good idea.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I will try that fan.

I watered from the bottom this past spring with slightly better results. But still nothing made it to planting time.

I think I will try bigger containers. The peat pellets are so little it only takes a drop to overwater and they dry out fast.

Good ideas! Thank you!
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top