The Q&A Archives: Transplanting Horizontal Seedlings

Question: I recently discovered the wisdom of using shoplights containing grow bulbs, 6 inches from my seedlings. However I have some snapdragons that are very leggy and have about 2 inches of their stem resting on the soil while the rest of the stem including leaves is now reaching for the light. Other than looking a little odd they are very healthy. Is it possible to bury the horizontal part of the stem when I transplant them? Just because I don't want them to get teased by the other seedlings that look "normal"!

Answer: I was a "leggy seedling" myself, so I can empathize with your snaps! You can indeed plant them with the horizontal stem under the soil. To prevent legginess in the future, keep your plants within 1" of the flourescent bulbs. Otherwise, the light the seedlings receive is not intense enough for proper growth, and they stretch towards it to get their light needs met. When various flats of seedlings grow at different rates, you can elevate them with piles of newspaper (or bricks, or what have you) to get them all within an inch of the bulbs. Enjoy!

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