The Q&A Archives: Greenhouse Growing

Question: I have a small greenhouse which is approximately 12 x 24. It gets plenty of sunshine during the day. There are a couple of windows at each end that I can open up for air circulation. My seedlings seem to be doing fine, but when they get up to around 4 inches they die. I was wondering if the humidity is too low or maybe not enough air circulation. Do you have information on starting seedings in a greenhouse?

Answer: The technique for starting seeds in a greenhouse is similar to starting them indoors: begin with new seed starting mix (or sterilize the mix if it has been used before). Use new or clean and recently disinfected trays or pots (use one part household bleach diluted with 9 parts water to rinse used pots and trays in). Moisten the seed starting mix and sow the seeds at the proper depth. Keep the growing medium moist, but not soggy wet. Provide good air circulation at all times, and supplement natural light with artificial light to provide 14-16 hours of light each day. If your seeds are germinating and the seedlings begin to grow, your seed starting methods are correct, but the seedlings may be falling prey to 'damping off', a fungal disease. If you keep the area scrupulously clean, provide adequate air circulation, and don't overwater, you can help your plants avoid this devastating disease. Try again following the above guidelines, and you're sure to help your new plants thrive.

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