The Q&A Archives: Broccoli Seedlings Fall Over

Question: I am making my fourth attempt to start broccoli indoors. Every time I try, they sprout and grow tall and skinny, sometimes even falling over. I am careful not to overwater. Is there a trick to getting short, stocky seedlings by late March?


 Broccoli seedlings do tend to look a bit leggy normally, but in your case the weak, leggy growth is likely due to insufficient light, too much heat, or both.

Healthy seedlings require lots of light as soon as they germinate. Your best bet is to place seedlings under fluorescent lights as soon as you see the sprouts. Keep the lights just a few inches from the tops of the plants.  And although most seeds require relatively warm temperatures for optimum germination, as soon as the seeds sprout, place them in a cool room--about 65F.

Start broccoli seeds 4 to 6 weeks before you plan to set them outdoors. Good luck with your next round!

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