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Old April 24, 2018   #1
fordido
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Default 4-Weekers Looking Poor.. Ideas?

I have only started from seed once before, but had lush & beautiful plants with no issues. I feel like they're looking a bit sad & puny this time around. I'd love any advice on what I could be doing better this year or next! I'm wondering if the issue might be tied to fertilizing, I can't remember if I skipped it last time..

Here's what I've so far this year:
  • Started 3 seeds per cell in these starter kits using Light Warrior seed starting mix (https://www.gardeners.com/buy/deep-r.../35-657RS.html). Kept in the house with no drafts
  • Germination was good & all seemed well for a while. I clipped off the extra seedlings at the soil line, leaving only the strongest one per cell.
  • T5 Lights on for roughly 12-14 hours/day, just a couple inches above plants(https://www.amazon.com/dp/B005H1C7NA...ing=UTF8&psc=1). I also run a light fan breeze on them for a few hours daily.
  • Fertilized at 1/4 strength after true leaves established & also 1.5 weeks later - this may have been a bad idea? Not sure I did that the first year. Used this fertilizer (https://theurbanfarm.com/legrpa.html)
  • They seemed to grow well at first but are now somewhat stunted, small & a few are starting to yellow.
  • Potted up to 18oz solo cups last night, burying deeply up to tops. Used this soil to pot up since I had a new bag on hand (https://www.foxfarmfertilizer.com/it...ting-soil.html)
  • Last night I also moved them out of the house into the garage, which allows enough room for the light with the taller cups. It's a bit cooler in there but outside daytime temps here at in the 60s-low 70s.
  • Plant out date should be in 2 - 2.5 weeks - any chance you think they'll be large and strong enough by then? Any tips going forward?
Thank you so much for any help!
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Old April 24, 2018   #2
Labradors2
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They look fine, but a bit yellow. You could try giving them some Epsom Salts at the rate of one tablespoon to a gallon.

If they don't look very big at planting time, you can check the forecast and maybe hold off for a week if it's going to be cool.

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Old April 24, 2018   #3
ginger2778
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Not too much fertilizer, they were overwatered is my theory. The yellow leaves are the tell. Overwatering stunts growth and the leaves turn yellow. Uppotting was a great idea, that is going to help a lot. Start hardening off, use Linda's Epsom salt mix,its perfect to green them up. Now feel if the mix they are in is dry at the first knuckle, and when that happens, only then add water. More fert. In 2 weeks will be great.I leave a gentle fan on 24/7 while the seedlings are small. That's what nature does. Makes the stems strong.
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Old April 24, 2018   #4
fordido
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Thank you both so much for the advice & suggestions! Very much appreciated!
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Old April 24, 2018   #5
fordido
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One more quick question - should I spray the foliage with the Epsom salt solution or water regularly with it? I am currently bottom watering. Thank you!
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Old April 24, 2018   #6
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Between the pot change and new environment, I'd lay off doing anything for the next 2-3 days. Granted, if it's dry, for sure water.
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Old April 24, 2018   #7
ginger2778
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fordido View Post
One more quick question - should I spray the foliage with the Epsom salt solution or water regularly with it? I am currently bottom watering. Thank you!
No foliage spray, just water the potting mix.
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Old April 24, 2018   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mobiledynamics View Post
Between the pot change and new environment, I'd lay off doing anything for the next 2-3 days. Granted, if it's dry, for sure water.
That is the right way to do it now.
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Old April 24, 2018   #9
fordido
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I'll leave them alone for a few days & then try the Epsom solution. Thank you everyone!
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Old April 24, 2018   #10
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When do you plan to plant them out? I'm in Branson and the crazy weather seems to have stabilized now. Mine are in the garden.
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Old April 25, 2018   #11
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Yeah, potting up was the right idea and it was also a good idea to do it in a different mix.

I have found that potting up and burying the stem more than it was before increases the chances of damping off very much (at least, it only happened to me when I did this).

What could have helped but now I guess it's too late was to remove the old medium from the roots, there's something that wasn't right there, the roots didn't function properly/didn't grow properly.
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