Ask a Question forum: Can we all just get along because I still need your HELP!!!

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Name: Kimbrie Sauvageau
Lakewood WA (Zone 8a)
Misadventures of a virgin garderner
Cat Lover
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punk_rock_garderner
May 10, 2017 9:45 AM CST
Let me start by saying how truly grateful for all the wonderful feedback and suggestions on my thread. I was sad that it was blocked and I could not post to it. For those who decided to act like toddlers I need actual guidance and it was really selfish of you to have ruined my thread after offering no input to the actual discussion. I am going to attempt to pick up the conversation where we left off and I hope that you all will as well.

I know the medium is wrong, it was a mistake by my husband and I arrogantly used it anyway. I put the rest of it out in my actual beds which is fine for when I plant outside correct? My 1st batch of seedlings were much more successful which is why I reached out as I knew this last set was not doing so hot.

I have been terrified of direct planting for some reason but did sow my carrots right into bed and they are sprouting. Should I just plant seeds directly and skip the germinator all together? I know some of my plants (cucumber, squash, snap peas, beans, onions, sunflowers, safflowers, daisies, petunias, marigolds, and cosmos) are better off one way or another. I have read a lot about that but am now doubting my decisions so wonder what you guys think. I live in zone 8 in Tacoma WA. Is it too late to actually see a vegetable this season lol

When I was getting all my start up stuff (tools, germinator, seeds, medium etc) I knew my light was defiecent but at this time it is the most i could afford. I hoped by moving it every 4 hours and therefore never turning it off would squeak me through. until I could get a more adequate system. Below are the pics asked for of my set up. I move the light every 4 hours around the boxes the plants are sitting on. It seems that all the feedback from not just here is split 50/50 on this issue which honestly tough cause what do I do, buy more lights or decrease to not having the light on 24 hours a day?

The fertilizer issue made sense as I havr been giving 50% to them WAY too often. Once again in my arrogance I thought if some is good more is better. The link to the article was great and thank you for pointing it out.

So wrong medium, too much or not enough light, over nourishing...I pretty much got an epic fail in every area as it was stated these seedlings are garbage. To throw them away will be tough, is there any way if i get the right medium to try and transplant them again? I might lose some but if I can save some I would like to try.

I appreciate all your time and for sharing your knowledge with me..I will probably make you all nuts as I will have many questions along the way. Enjoy your day!
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check out my blog about my trials and successes of learning to garden https://punkrockgarderner.blog...
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Bromeliad
Hummingbirder Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator
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Baja_Costero
May 10, 2017 10:01 AM CST
I would not imagine you will be able to transplant those tiny seedlings to a different kind of soil, but you can always try with a few and see what happens. What's to lose, right? You can try a more serious light setup and maybe the seedlings will recover. People here who have experience with lights indoors will know more about this than myself. If cost is an issue then I would say go drastic and throw out however many plants you need to in order to be able to most effectively use the light you have.

The only real solution I see at this point would be to put the seedlings right by a very sunny window and see if some of them recover. If that's not possible then maybe you can view this as a educational experience moving forward, and accept knowledge as your prize instead of vegetables, and know that you can try again another time and have better odds of success.

One more thing I can't remember being mentioned before is holes in the bottom of the pots. I'm not sure if you poked holes in the bottom of the red cups, but they're deep enough that water will accumulate down there if you don't provide an exit.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - May 10, 2017 10:17 AM (+)]
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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
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sooby
May 10, 2017 10:24 AM CST
Perhaps it will help if I explain my comment about 24 hour lighting in the other thread, and also the three different aspects of light for plants.

The three aspects are light intensity (brightness), light quality (appropriate wavelengths for photosynthesis) and light duration (daylength). Insufficient light causes the plants to grow leggy and floppy, which is what yours are doing. If we assume being a grow light that it has the right wavelengths, and you cannot have the lights on any longer per day than 24 hours, the reason they are flopping is because they are not getting enough bright light. Excess fertilizing tends to make this worse.

My comment about 24 hour lighting damaging some plants is specific to certain plants, e.g. tomatoes. It causes chlorosis, a paleness or yellowing. It doesn't cause floppiness. If you are not growing plants that dislike continuous lighting then any paleness is not likely to be related to the 24 hour lighting.

One other way you can reduce flopping with low lighting is to keep the seedlings cooler. It may also help to run a fan on them so that their stems strengthen. But definitely your problem is not from too much light.

Another factor with daylength is that it can influence the plants flowering cycle but I don't think we need to go there at this point.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
May 10, 2017 10:38 AM CST
Baja is right on (as usual).

The seed starting mix is great for germinating seeds because it has very little nutritional value. Seeds come with a built in bag of fertilizer (the seed). They utilize that stored energy until they develop secondary leaves.

The next soil you use should be a good potting soil (designed for plants that live in pots). It usually has added fertilizer so, once again, the seedlings probably won't need any supplimental fertilizer.

The third stop is your vegetable garden. When you plant them, add a little time release fertilizer to the hole (along with your dug in compost - this is when you use the garden soil). Eventually, you will have to add more fertilizer, but that may be half way through the summer.

You should start tomatoes, peppers, eggplants in the house 4 - 6 weeks before your last frost. Choose varieties that will give you vegetables before your first frost. The 'number of days' on the seed packets starts counting after you plant the veggies outside. So if the packet says 80 days, count your 80 days from the day you plant out. If that is June 1, your first tomato will be ripe half way through August.

When you plant out, the temps should be above about 50 for tomatoes, eggplants and peppers. Above about 70 for cucumbers, squash and melons and beans.

Direct plant cucumbers, squash, melons and beans. Carrots, peas and other root vegs like beets and leafy greens like lettuce and cabbage should be direct sown but early in the spring or late int he fall. Cabbage, kale and chard will survive all winter.

Plants, like people, need some sleep at night - darkness is an important part of the photosynthesizing process. Turn off those lights at night.

You can add light cheaply by finding a full spectrum LED bulb for that desk lamp. Read the small print on the package and find one with a 'k' rating of 6000 or more. You can put the light closer to the plants and move it back as they grow towards it.

Gosh, I have written a book! Please don't be discouraged - we all take some missteps no matter how much experience we have. You still have plenty of time to start again and get those veggies in the ground.

Oops! Cross posted with Sooby.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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[Last edited by DaisyI - May 10, 2017 10:40 AM (+)]
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Name: Dee Moore
Arroyo Grande, CA (Zone 9a)
Seller of Garden Stuff Seed Starter Garden Art Butterflies Annuals Cactus and Succulents
Greenhouse Container Gardener Region: California Winter Sowing Garden Photography I helped beta test the first seed swap
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DomehomeDee
May 10, 2017 10:39 AM CST
I'm new to this thread but I feel you have learned most of what you need to know to be a good gardener. Firstly, success is and isn't in your control. As far as seeds go, I always plant tons of them and then I get some success. Often they are old or picked early, or take longer to germinate than you are willing to wait. So don't blame yourself if your seeds fail, just keep trying.
My rule of thumb is that annuals go directly in ground and perennials should be started on the mat or in a greenhouse.
Veges, well, I use the nursery starts unless I want to grow something unusual, so I can get a good start on the season. I have started veges on a mat in winter, another way to get an early start.
I, too, learned not to over-fertilize the hard way. Tip: don't give bulbs nitrogen. I had 3 foot tall daffodils that didn't bloom for years! Now I use mostly organics like manure, blood and bone meal. They decompose to release the nutrients so it's harder to over do it.
When people say "you have such a green thumb" I always respond "not really, I research every plant I grow and sometimes it takes more than one try to get it right." Good luck!!!
Name: Kimbrie Sauvageau
Lakewood WA (Zone 8a)
Misadventures of a virgin garderner
Cat Lover
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punk_rock_garderner
May 10, 2017 10:41 AM CST
Hi there, yes the cups have holes poked in them for drainage so no trouble there. Sooby, if i add another light or two like the one I have and surround them will that help...I can afford to do that right now? I threw out 4 more plants this morning so my question of viability is being slowly answered. Also since I have decided to only sprout indoors the plants that reccomend it so there will be a lot less plants next go round.

check out my blog about my trials and successes of learning to garden https://punkrockgarderner.blog...
Name: Janine
NE Connecticut (Zone 6a)
Cat Lover Seed Starter Herbs Plant and/or Seed Trader
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janinilulu
May 10, 2017 10:46 AM CST
DaisyI said: You can put the light closer to the plants and move it back as they grow towards it.



Yes, plants should be no more than a few inches from the light.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
May 10, 2017 10:49 AM CST
punk_rock_garderner said: Sooby, if i add another light or two like the one I have and surround them will that help.


Do you still have the package for that one so we can look at its details? Or could you find it on the web and give us a link? When I looked yesterday I was getting fluorescent tubes, which is not what you have. I'm assuming since it was called a "grow light" that it is not incandescent, because incandescent is inefficient for plants and gives off too much heat.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
May 10, 2017 11:19 AM CST
You can buy incandescent grow lights - they are the ones that look blue.

You want the best quality light with the least amount of heat.

Watts measures the amount of electricity the light is using.

K (kelvin) Is a color temperature meansurement so we know that a bulb with over 5000k gives full spectrum white light. White light contains all the colors that a plant needs to successfully photosynthesize.

Lumen measures the quality of light.

Efficiency (number of watts used), kelvin (spectrum of color) and lumens (quality of light) are all measured and calculated with a lot of physics thrown in for good measure to come up with the perfect lightbulb.

The best lightbulbs available right now are LED lights with a k rating of at least 5000 up to about 6500k. The smaller the light source, however, the fewer the lumens. Germinating seeds need less light (lumens). As your plants grow, they will need more and more light.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
May 10, 2017 11:31 AM CST
Kimbrie - I'm late to the party but I was curious as to whether you could set your seedlings outside for a few hours a day i a protected area with some sun. I may have missed discussion of the option. We're finally warming up here after having below normal temps for two weeks but I have been acclimating my seedlings outdoors starting with a couple of hours during the warmest part of the day. The light quality will be significantly better.
Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we can't eat money. Cree proverb
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
May 10, 2017 11:51 AM CST
DaisyI said:You can buy incandescent grow lights - they are the ones that look blue.


I still can't find a GE grow light that isn't fluorescent but looking back at the other thread Kimbrie called it a plant light not a grow light. I'm thinking that's one of those blue incandescents, as Daisy mentioned, that is primarily for accenting individual houseplants? But I also couldn't find an incandescent "plant light" that is as low as 40w.

If this is a 40w incandescent then it would not be giving enough light and would be giving off too much heat to be close to the plants even if it were in the right wavelengths.

So Kimbrie, please don't get any more of these lamps if that's what it is, an incandescent "plant" light.

Name: Kimbrie Sauvageau
Lakewood WA (Zone 8a)
Misadventures of a virgin garderner
Cat Lover
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punk_rock_garderner
May 10, 2017 3:32 PM CST
Sooby, it was a blue colored bulb...so if I wanted to continue to use a couple single bulb lights is there a type of bulb I can buy? I researched the light bulb option and couldn't find a full spectrum bulb at Wal-Mart so got the plant bulb assuming it was a good source of light...but as we are seeing my assumptions are what is killing my plants...

check out my blog about my trials and successes of learning to garden https://punkrockgarderner.blog...
Name: Kimbrie Sauvageau
Lakewood WA (Zone 8a)
Misadventures of a virgin garderner
Cat Lover
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punk_rock_garderner
May 10, 2017 4:13 PM CST
I was wondering, in terms of hardening off seedlings...we have had weird weather and today are about 70, in a few days it will be in the 50's...can I still bring my plants out to acclimate or will it kill the cucumbers for example since they like 70 degree weather?


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check out my blog about my trials and successes of learning to garden https://punkrockgarderner.blog...
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
May 10, 2017 4:16 PM CST
Kimbrie,

This is what you want:

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Gre...

Daylight LED, 800 lumens, 5000K
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
DaisyI
May 10, 2017 4:18 PM CST
Don't take anything outside until they have grown a couple sets of 'adult' leaves.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: Kimbrie Sauvageau
Lakewood WA (Zone 8a)
Misadventures of a virgin garderner
Cat Lover
Image
punk_rock_garderner
May 10, 2017 6:00 PM CST
DaisyI said:Don't take anything outside until they have grown a couple sets of 'adult' leaves.


Thanks for link to light, there are so many there when I bought mine it was overwhelming lol...I will take them back inside for sure
check out my blog about my trials and successes of learning to garden https://punkrockgarderner.blog...
Name: Kimbrie Sauvageau
Lakewood WA (Zone 8a)
Misadventures of a virgin garderner
Cat Lover
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punk_rock_garderner
May 10, 2017 6:03 PM CST
so to clarify, take them out once second leaves come out and those leaves are not doing so because of the lighting issue correct?
check out my blog about my trials and successes of learning to garden https://punkrockgarderner.blog...
Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Deer Organic Gardener Ferns Herbs Dragonflies
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Bonehead
May 10, 2017 6:08 PM CST
As a fellow PNW Zone 8 gardener, you can easily direct seed your warm weather vegetables now and expect good luck. Corn, cucumbers, squash, beans, etc. I used to wait until June 1st but I'm further north than you are. With climate change, I've moved my in-the-ground time up a bit. Good luck.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Kimbrie Sauvageau
Lakewood WA (Zone 8a)
Misadventures of a virgin garderner
Cat Lover
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punk_rock_garderner
May 10, 2017 6:32 PM CST
Bonehead said:As a fellow PNW Zone 8 gardener, you can easily direct seed your warm weather vegetables now and expect good luck. Corn, cucumbers, squash, beans, etc. I used to wait until June 1st but I'm further north than you are. With climate change, I've moved my in-the-ground time up a bit. Good luck.


Bonehead, so thankful for input from a Gardner in the area...couple of questions you are planting your seeds now or have planted them? It seems like it has been cold to push back sowing but my carrots just sprouted really well. Do you do any indoor planting/transplanting if so around what time do you start them? I have read a lot of varying information but your so close makes you a good brain to pick

check out my blog about my trials and successes of learning to garden https://punkrockgarderner.blog...
Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Deer Organic Gardener Ferns Herbs Dragonflies
Spiders! Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Birds Fruit Growers Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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Bonehead
May 11, 2017 9:07 AM CST
Punk Rock, I don't start many seeds indoors for a couple reasons: I don't have a greenhouse. I do have a covered porch with windows on 3 sides, which I sometimes use for seed starting and/or I'll buy real young nursery starts and keep them on the porch until they put on some girth and it gets warm enough outside (especially at night). I don't like to mess with lights and the hardening off procedure - I invariably forget to bring something in or move it out of the sun or water them too much/little. The few times I do start (for example) tomatoes from seed, by the time my little starts are 8" tall, even the grocery store has tomato plants 2-3 times bigger than mine at not a huge cost, and I 'cave' and buy the bigger plants. It rather depends on what your goals are - become more self sufficient, grow food for the table, grow food to sell, grow food to put up, know what's in your food, etc. All good goals.

When my kids were at home, we grew much more vegetables than now, and I canned and froze as much as I could. I live about an hour north of Seattle near the Skagit Valley, and have easy access to farm fresh vegetables both for immediate consumption and for canning (we are making pickled asparagus this weekend).

If you have not yet found it, this site has a feature under 'Tools & Apps' at the top banner, then click 'Vegetable Planting Calendar' along with your zip code. That will bring up a calendar of suggested times to start seeds inside, when to transplant them, when to direct sow, etc. For me, the calendar is a bit optimistic for my particular micro-climate and I push things back about 1-2 weeks from the suggested times.

What I find useful is to plant based on what is happening outside, as each season can fluctuate quite a bit. If you are within sound of spring peeper frogs, I plant peas directly outside when they are in full chorus (usually mid February). Spuds and other cool weather crops (beets, greens, radishes) when the dandelions are in bloom (mine are at puffball stage now, so a bit late but I'd still give them a go). Warm weather direct seeded crops go in when the lilacs bloom (about now for me).

Keep record of what you plant when, and note what is happening outside. Adjust each season as you collect historical data. We've had such a wonderful spring growing cycle (rain-sun-rain-sun, repeat) that I'd give whatever you want a chance and see how it turns out. Nothing is written in stone, especially in the gardening world.

Feel free to pick my brain, I'm happy to share experiences. Best of luck to your new endeavor!



I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.

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