Daylilies forum: small seedlings

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Name: Sabrina
Italy, Brescia (Zone 8b)
Love daylilies and making candles!
Daylilies Cat Lover Region: Europe Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Level 1
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cybersix
Feb 2, 2017 10:31 AM CST
Hello!
I have some pots in the basement under a neon light. Some seedlings are growing more than others, some look suffering... the potting mix it's the same for all the pots.
It's a really cheap potting mix the kind that gets dry and you can never wet it again. It looks poor. Do you think I should change the potting mix to see if they get better?
Also, are they still too young to go outside? We will have some freeze again, or at least forecasts say so.
Many thanks!

Thumb of 2017-02-02/cybersix/f55009
Thumb of 2017-02-02/cybersix/729bb8

Sabrina, North Italy
My blog: http://hemerocallis.info
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Feb 2, 2017 11:13 AM CST
Sabrina,

Can't you water them by setting the pot in water? Usually the water will dampen the whole container. In fact, with my daylily seedlings, I just leave some in a large tray and try to keep some water in the tray at all times. The roots just grow out the bottom of the pot into the water. Hasn't seem to damage any seedling from too much water. I didn't put them in water until after they sprouted and had grown a couple of new leaves. Those handled that way do better than those that have to endure water and drying out in cycles. I would note that my natural growing conditions is normally low humidity and often hot temperatures, so it might not work everywhere. I have a lot of container plants of various sorts with a variety of plants and when they get too dry it can be hard to get the planting medium uniformly moist, so I use that method on even really huge clay containers. Most don't remain sitting in water, though. As soon as the top of planting feels damp, I take them out.
Donald
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Composter Garden Photography Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Region: Alabama
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Seedfork
Feb 2, 2017 1:33 PM CST
Here is a photo of a few seeds I planted the other day. They have not sprouted yet. But you can see a tray setup like needrain was referring to. I used the mixture shown in the next photo, and added some pearlite to the mix. I am not recommending this, but I used the same mix earlier with my tomato and pepper seeds and had the fastest and highest germination rate ever. I actually bought the mix to plant some things for my wife and had some left over. Watering them like this from the bottom and setting them out in the sun on nice days and letting the wind blow them around seems to be working very well.
I think I would take the really poor looking seedlings, and without disturbing them much lift the entire plant and soil together put that in a larger pot with a better mixture around it then set that in a tray of water.
Pots with seeds setting in plastic tray with shallow water.
Thumb of 2017-02-02/Seedfork/1818b8
Mix I sort of accidently started using for seed starting.
Thumb of 2017-02-02/Seedfork/15c6fd

Name: Sabrina
Italy, Brescia (Zone 8b)
Love daylilies and making candles!
Daylilies Cat Lover Region: Europe Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Level 1
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cybersix
Feb 2, 2017 3:32 PM CST
@needrain - Donald, I try to water them the less I can because it's cold in the basement (50F) and I know seedlings grow very slow when it's cold.
I already did as you said, making them sitting in water, a couple of times. But the seedlings look really poor (not all).

I guess I'll change the potting mix as @seedfork, Larry, says.
Here it's still too cold to grow so young seedlings outdoor and the best I could do was this setup on a shelf in the basement under the neon light.

At first some of them risked to rot because of too much water. I am not good yet in handling seedlings indoor. It maybe a poor air circulation problem, too.

Larry thanks for the suggestion on the potting mix, I have a new one that has pearlite already and it's fertilized too. It costs a bit but for such small pots waiting to put the seedlings in the ground I think it could be a good choice. But I want to toss the "old" potting mix to free the roots from it, so I can check if some is going to rot.
Many thanks!
Sabrina, North Italy
My blog: http://hemerocallis.info
Name: Marilyn, aka "Poly"
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Garden Photography Garden Procrastinator Daylilies Pollen collector Dog Lover
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Polymerous
Feb 2, 2017 8:42 PM CST
All I can offer here on the subject:

1) I do as Larry does - my seedling pots are all in a tray. When the seedlings are very young (seeds not yet emerged, or barely) I water from on top, but later I just pour the water (sometimes with a little dissolved fertilizer) into the bottom of the tray. I don't bother taking the pots out of the tray; pretty much everything gets soaked up or evaporated within a day, so long as I don't overdo it. I don't do daily watering; I wait at least a few days between waterings.

2) I have tried various seed starting mixes, and have had a hellacious time battling gnats indoors (to the point where DH was coming up with as many gnat puns as he could Rolling my eyes. ). CaliFlowers very kindly recommended the ProMix seed starting mix to me. I bought this version of it https://www.amazon.com/gp/prod... and it's been two weeks now (since I started my first round of seeds), and there has been no sign of a gnat! Thumbs up

3) Yes, I would say that your seedlings are too young to go out. When you do eventually put them out, you have to be certain (when they go into the ground) that they get enough moisture. I lost several of my last round of seedlings last year (which were all actually baby volunteer seedlings which I dug up), when I planted them out to my seedling beds, which are on drip irrigation. The seedlings were still small enough that they did not have large root systems, and the drip apparently did not reach the roots (plus by then it was late May and we were having some pretty warm weather). Now I know that I will have to hand water the babies in the seedling beds, until they get bigger and established enough that the drip system can take over.

Good luck to you!
Now blooming; I love this 'Hidden Gem'!
Name: Sabrina
Italy, Brescia (Zone 8b)
Love daylilies and making candles!
Daylilies Cat Lover Region: Europe Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Level 1
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cybersix
Feb 3, 2017 7:09 AM CST
@Polymerous, many thanks! I don't know if they should have a tray of water now, this is what is confusing me, because growth is slow.

Thanks for the link to the grow mix, I can't find it here in Italy. I recently bought a new type and I have Mycorrhizae so maybe I can mix the two.

I'm planning to change all the potting mix today, and see if I can find a tray or something similar.

when spring will come I'll put them outside but I plan to let them in pots for a while, so I can control them better!
Sabrina, North Italy
My blog: http://hemerocallis.info
Name: Sabrina
Italy, Brescia (Zone 8b)
Love daylilies and making candles!
Daylilies Cat Lover Region: Europe Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Level 1
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cybersix
Feb 4, 2017 4:15 PM CST
So, I changed the potting soil in all pots!
Some seedlings have really good foliage and nice well formed roots, some are weaker. I still have some "backup" seeds of these crosses, I could start them just in case somehing goes wrong.

Thanks to everyone!
Sabrina, North Italy
My blog: http://hemerocallis.info
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Composter Garden Photography Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Region: Alabama
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Seedfork
Feb 4, 2017 4:17 PM CST
How did the roots look on the weaker plants, any sign or rot?
Name: Sabrina
Italy, Brescia (Zone 8b)
Love daylilies and making candles!
Daylilies Cat Lover Region: Europe Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Level 1
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cybersix
Feb 4, 2017 4:34 PM CST
Not now, but some have just one tiny and long root attached to the crown... I had fungus gnat too, forgot to mention this in my opening thread.

I used BioBizz All-Mix which I read wonders about, description says: All-Mix was developed especially to be the best potting soil for organic cultivation. It consists of 20% sphagnum peat moss, 35% garden peat, 10% high quality organic Worm-Humus , 30% perlite and 5% Pre-Mix.

Pre-Mix is a fertilizer by BioBizz. I don't know what it contains.
I hope it will be a good potting mix for my seedlings, it's not cheap but for small pots I thought it could work.

Edited to add
I found informations on Pre-Mix:
BioBizz Pre-Mix is a dry fertiliser mix that's formed from a blend high-quality organic ingredients. It's optimised for young plants and is ideal for mixing into soils when transplanting, providing a wide spectrum of nutrients and increasing microbial activity, which in turn helps to give young plants the best start possible.
Fully organic dry feriliser
Mixes with potting soil at a ratio of around 5%
Delivers rapid growth rates and enhanced root development
Loaded with minerals
Contains beneficial fungi and friendly bacteria

Pre-Mix contains an array of highly benneficial ingredients that will nourish plants and help to deliver rapid growth, particularly during the early vegetative stages. Organic fertilisers, rock meals, trace elements and fungi combine to strengthen plants against environmental stresses, while simultaneously encourgaing healthy root growth and development. Add Pre-Mix to your potting soil when transplanting to your final containers and you're good to go. Just ensure, as always that it's properly and evenly mixed into the substrate.
Sabrina, North Italy
My blog: http://hemerocallis.info
[Last edited by cybersix - Feb 4, 2017 4:36 PM (+)]
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Name: Sabrina
Italy, Brescia (Zone 8b)
Love daylilies and making candles!
Daylilies Cat Lover Region: Europe Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Level 1
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cybersix
Feb 17, 2017 3:39 PM CST
Hurray! I'm glad to tell you all the seedlings started to grow again! new leaves, healthy and green! Hurray!

I used this potting mix for the seeds I'm starting, some already sprouted and the little plants look really well.

No more cheap potting mix!
Sabrina, North Italy
My blog: http://hemerocallis.info
Name: Marilyn, aka "Poly"
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Garden Photography Garden Procrastinator Daylilies Pollen collector Dog Lover
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Polymerous
Feb 17, 2017 7:35 PM CST
Hurray! Thumbs up
Now blooming; I love this 'Hidden Gem'!
Name: Glen Ingram
Macleay Is, Qld, Australia (Zone 12a)
Bearded Dragon
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Gleni
Mar 19, 2017 7:19 AM CST
Yes, avoid cheap potting mix. It can be a killer. I always thiought they were all the same and the higher priced ones were rip-offs. I learnt the hard way and had to repot. I used the discarded potting mix as mulch at which it was good and some of it is still persistring little changed after two years.

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