Should I save my leggy seedlings? - Knowledgebase Question

Hebron, Ma
Question by rcsheets7
May 20, 2010
My summer squash and zuchini seedlings got very tall and have fallen over. The leaves at the tops look good. Can I or should I try to use them? If so, what do I do?

Answer from NGA
May 20, 2010


Seedlings can get long and lanky if they are not getting adequate light. The plants are actually reaching for the light which is what makes them leggy. You can avoid this by providing supplemental light to your seedlings. I use the hooded shop lights with two fluorescent bulbs and hang them only 2" above the tops of the seedlings, moving the light source up as the seedlings grow. You may be able to continue growing your seedlings. Supplement the light they receive or set them outdoors. You'll want to harden them off before planting in your garden so first set them in a shady spot and gradually move them into the sun. Start with a few hours of morning sunshine, gradually providing more and more sunshine over a period of a week. By the end of the week they should be able to tolerate all day sunshine. At that point you can plant them in your garden. Good luck with your seedlings.

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