Feeding seedlings?

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by Fern4, Apr 25, 2013.

  1. Fern4

    Fern4 Total Gardener

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2013
    Messages:
    16,237
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    The gardener of the house!
    Location:
    Liverpool
    Ratings:
    +7,376
    I was looking at my seedlings this morning and some varieties seem to have stalled. Basically they don't seem to have grown much and seem "stuck" at a small size. Is this possible? Can seedlings just stop growing or grow very slowly?

    Is there anything I can do to give these seedlings a boost? Should I be feeding them now for example? They were germinated in an electric propagator and then transplanted to small pots. The varieties causing me concern are Snapdragons and Achilleas. They're on a wide south facing window ledge which gets plenty of light and gets very warm in the sunshine.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Dan The Man

    Dan The Man Gardener

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2012
    Messages:
    210
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Leeds West Yorkshire
    Ratings:
    +179
    Do you make your own compost? I'm going to mulch my seedlings with home made compost just to give them a bit of a boost their all in 9cm pots so I'm just going to put a bit on top of each pot
     
  3. Val..

    Val.. Confessed snail lover

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2010
    Messages:
    6,355
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Hay-on-Wye, Hereford
    Ratings:
    +4,948
    How do you make compost?? :scratch:

    Val
     
  4. Val..

    Val.. Confessed snail lover

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2010
    Messages:
    6,355
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Hay-on-Wye, Hereford
    Ratings:
    +4,948
    My seedlings are just the same, stuck at small size, what they need is some warmth!!!! :gaah:

    Val
     
  5. Loofah

    Loofah Well used member Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2008
    Messages:
    7,135
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Guildford
    Ratings:
    +11,207
    Seeds have enough 'oomph' in them (that's a technical term by the way...) to get them through a while after germination. They shouldn't require any feeding as long as the heat and light are there, just pot them on once the root system is sufficient.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • JWK

      JWK Gardener Staff Member

      Joined:
      Jun 3, 2008
      Messages:
      22,869
      Gender:
      Male
      Location:
      Surrey
      Ratings:
      +27,937

      Maybe it is too hot on your windowsill for them, snapdragons in particular don't like too much heat. They would do better outdoors during the day then bring them in at night until the last frost.
       
    • Fern4

      Fern4 Total Gardener

      Joined:
      Jan 30, 2013
      Messages:
      16,237
      Gender:
      Female
      Occupation:
      The gardener of the house!
      Location:
      Liverpool
      Ratings:
      +7,376
      No I don't make my own compost Dan. I was wondering about feeding them with Baby Bio but really dilute it.

      John I'm too nervous about taking them outside just now. They look really weedy with very thin stems. I think a slight gust of wind would snap them in half!!

      It's not just me then..lol. I think we could all do with a bit more warmth.



      Maybe it's a light issue. They were in a propagator in another room and went leggy and spindly - then I moved them after potting them up into small pots where there's better light. :dunno:
       
    • HarryS

      HarryS Eternally Optimistic Gardener

      Joined:
      Aug 28, 2010
      Messages:
      8,767
      Gender:
      Male
      Occupation:
      Retired
      Location:
      Wigan
      Ratings:
      +15,872
      I use Baby Bio on my seedlings , mainly because it is so easy to use by just shaking a few drops into my watering jug . Make sure the water is luke warm.
      I have been reading up on Phostrogen ( see other thread in this section) and you can use it at 1/4 strength on seedlings . May be worth a try.:blue thumb:
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
      • Kristen

        Kristen Under gardener

        Joined:
        Jul 22, 2006
        Messages:
        17,534
        Gender:
        Male
        Location:
        Suffolk, UK
        Ratings:
        +12,662
        May depend what stage of growth they are at. Some produce seed leaves, and then lots of roots before the true leaves appear. Others may produce some true leaves, and then use the energy to concentrate on growing roots before growing more "top".

        But pretty much all seedlings that I can think of have a "wait" after the seed leaves appear, before generating the first set of True leaves.

        I feed all my seedlings once they are about 3 - 4 weeks old (i.e. from germination) with a very week liquid feed (1/4 strength), which I then use quite regularly (roughly weekly). Make sure it is well mixed - so some plants don't get water and others "concentrate" :(
         
        • Informative Informative x 1
        • Useful Useful x 1
        • Fern4

          Fern4 Total Gardener

          Joined:
          Jan 30, 2013
          Messages:
          16,237
          Gender:
          Female
          Occupation:
          The gardener of the house!
          Location:
          Liverpool
          Ratings:
          +7,376
          I've put Baby Bio on the shopping list for this week Harry so I'll give it a whirl.

          Kristen thanks for that info. My seedlings must be in that "wait" period as they don't have the first set of true leaves. I transplanted them into the bigger pots from the seed tray because they were so leggy.
           
        • Madahhlia

          Madahhlia Total Gardener

          Joined:
          Mar 19, 2007
          Messages:
          3,678
          Gender:
          Female
          Location:
          Suburban paradise
          Ratings:
          +3,087
          If they are in decent compost, and not rootbound, wouldn't they still have plenty of nutrients in the compost to keep them going?

          I am planning to give weak feeds once my seedlings have a few true leaves. I think one of the reasons I sometimes fail with seedlings is that I don't feed and move them on at the correct time, whether by potting on or planting out.

          Leggy seedlings is almost sure to be a light issue.
           
        • Kristen

          Kristen Under gardener

          Joined:
          Jul 22, 2006
          Messages:
          17,534
          Gender:
          Male
          Location:
          Suffolk, UK
          Ratings:
          +12,662
          The "shock" of that will probably have caused them to take-stock for a while too.

          If they aren't at True Leaf stage yet, and appear to have stalled, I would say that was normal ... so long as they still look healthy.

          Here's hoping that the fact that they got leggy doesn't mean they exhausted themselves and are now struggling to cope.
           
          • Agree Agree x 1
          • stephenprudence

            stephenprudence GC Weather Guru

            Joined:
            Jul 17, 2010
            Messages:
            1,710
            Gender:
            Male
            Occupation:
            General Asisstant (for now), and full time immatur
            Location:
            Wirral, Zone 9a
            Ratings:
            +2,316
            try getting a pot sticking outside when it next rains, then watering them with rainwater, it may give them a little extra nutrition to help them to get going without the need for risking over feeding.
             
          Loading...

          Share This Page

          1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
            By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
            Dismiss Notice