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BallsEleven
LSU Fan
Member since Mar 2019
1946 posts

re: 2019 Garden Thread
So I think part of my problem was I was keeping the soil mix too wet. I was keeping enough water in the tray to touch the bottom of the tray insert thinking the soil would wick the moisture up and keep everything moist.

I have a feeling it was too much moisture though. So my question is do I need to start with new seeds or are the others fine to use assuming I drain the pan so the soil can start drying up a bit?


jyoung1
LSU Fan
Lafayette
Member since May 2010
1693 posts

re: 2019 Garden Thread
I am a garden noob, but I thought it was impossible to have over moistened soil for seedlings by bottom watering as you are?

I mean all of the seed starting kits you buy are watered this way.

Reason I ask is because I planted cauliflower, broccoli, & cabbage, and the cauliflower leaves came up and half of both leaves turned brown starting from the end of leaf. The broccoli & cabbage don't look the best either. Half of the cabbage seeds didn't even sprout.


jyoung1
LSU Fan
Lafayette
Member since May 2010
1693 posts

re: 2019 Garden Thread
Also side question, is it common for watermelon seeds to have low germination rates?

I plated about 6-8 seeds in hills but only about a third of them sprouted. in some hills only 1 sprout came up.

Image: https://i.imgur.com/3E5Fpor.jpg


PillageUrVillage
LSU Fan
Mordor
Member since Mar 2011
10642 posts

re: 2019 Garden Thread
quote:

but I thought it was impossible to have over moistened soil for seedlings by bottom watering as you are?


Well, soil too wet could cause the seeds to rot. You want it to just be damp. With the heat we’ve been having, it might be cooking them. Tough to say. Could just be a bad batch of seeds.


BallsEleven
LSU Fan
Member since Mar 2019
1946 posts

re: 2019 Garden Thread
That was my issue. I put new seeds in half the containers and drained some water at the beginning of this week and they have already started to sprout. I guess I will do the same with the other half and call it a learning lesson.


PillageUrVillage
LSU Fan
Mordor
Member since Mar 2011
10642 posts

re: 2019 Garden Thread
After a week, my first lettuce has sprouted. Just 1 so far. Hopefully more come up over the next few days.


gumbo2176
Member since May 2018
6657 posts
 Online 

re: 2019 Garden Thread
quote:

After a week, my first lettuce has sprouted. Just 1 so far. Hopefully more come up over the next few days.


Where are you, and how hot is it right now. I've planted lettuces every year for a fall/winter crop and if it's hot like it now is, the sprout rate for lettuce seeds is pitiful and unless you keep them wet and shaded, the sun will take them out.

I'm in N.O. and it's still way too hot to put out lettuce seeds. I usually grow about 10 different varieties of leaf lettuces every year.


gumbo2176
Member since May 2018
6657 posts
 Online 

re: 2019 Garden Thread
Where did you get the seeds? Was it from a fresh watermelon from the store or did you buy them in a packet from a garden center?

I've found seeds from store bought produce don't germinate as easily as those bought in packets.


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PillageUrVillage
LSU Fan
Mordor
Member since Mar 2011
10642 posts

re: 2019 Garden Thread
quote:

Where are you, and how hot is it right now. I've planted lettuces every year for a fall/winter crop and if it's hot like it now is, the sprout rate for lettuce seeds is pitiful and unless you keep them wet and shaded, the sun will take them out.


St Landry Parish. And I have them in peat cups under my back patio which stays mostly shaded throughout the day. I mentioned in another post that the seed packet came with a crap load of seeds, so even if they fail I’ll just sow some more later on. Nothing to lose, really.


BallsEleven
LSU Fan
Member since Mar 2019
1946 posts

re: 2019 Garden Thread
That was probably also my problem. I had them in the sun at first so they baked.

Now they are in the shade on top of a mini fridge with a grow light. The top of the fridge is cool to the touch so I think it is keeping the temp down.


gumbo2176
Member since May 2018
6657 posts
 Online 

re: 2019 Garden Thread
quote:

That was probably also my problem. I had them in the sun at first so they baked.


I usually wait until it get a bit cooler, like late September/early October and direct sow them into the garden. They come up easily then and are thick as thieves, but do transplant very nicely.

You just have to be kind of gentle when transplanting since they are pretty delicate seedlings. I'll wait until they are about 4 inches tall and use a small garden spade to get under the roots of a bunch of them then space them 6 inches all the way around for clearance. That is more than enough room for them to develop nicely and you'd be surprised how many transplants survive.

Oh, and I only grow leaf lettuce so I can pick some off several plants to make a salad and not take the whole plant like heading lettuces.


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gumbo2176
Member since May 2018
6657 posts
 Online 

re: 2019 Garden Thread
quote:

I mentioned in another post that the seed packet came with a crap load of seeds


Kind of amazing just how small lettuce seeds are when looking at the fully grown plant. Kind of like an acorn to the oak.


lsuson
LSU Fan
Member since Oct 2013
7510 posts

re: 2019 Garden Thread
I’m planting several types of Romaine this fall, and a couple types of small lettuce plants. Yeah I pick off the leaves as well. But once it bolts and flowers, it’s no good anymore. The leaves will be very bitter


gumbo2176
Member since May 2018
6657 posts
 Online 

re: 2019 Garden Thread
quote:

But once it bolts and flowers, it’s no good anymore. The leaves will be very bitter


You can plant several times over the fall/winter and when a bunch bolts, just pull them and replace.

However, once spring hits and it gets into the 80's, they are done. That is why I love to also plant Swiss Chard since it can take the heat and is great to use cooked like spinach in many dishes and raw in salads.


LSUlefty
LSU Fan
Youngsville, LA
Member since Dec 2007
22292 posts

re: 2019 Garden Thread
I left a couple of tomato plants in the ground from the Spring and surprisingly they're coming back. Even have some small tomatoes on one.


gumbo2176
Member since May 2018
6657 posts
 Online 

re: 2019 Garden Thread
quote:

I left a couple of tomato plants in the ground from the Spring and surprisingly they're coming back


I use to be able to grow great crops of tomatoes, but for the past several years I've had fungal, bacterial and pest issues where they are concerned----and even in the better days, they never survived past July in my garden.

I've planted them everywhere in my garden to rotate where I grow them and that hasn't helped. I have some luck with the smaller varieties like cherry, Roma and grape tomatoes, but the larger varieties like Creole, Better Boy, Cherokee Purple, etc. have not fared well.


BallsEleven
LSU Fan
Member since Mar 2019
1946 posts

re: 2019 Garden Thread
Question:

For indoor grow lights, do y’all leave them on 24/7 or turn them off at night?


PillageUrVillage
LSU Fan
Mordor
Member since Mar 2011
10642 posts

re: 2019 Garden Thread
Turn them off for about 8 hours at night. Plants use this time to consume the “food” they made throughout the day. Ya know, to put it simply.


Bill Parker?
Member since Jan 2013
3372 posts

re: 2019 Garden Thread
A cheap timer allows you to set the lights to turn off each night for however long you set it.


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lsuson
LSU Fan
Member since Oct 2013
7510 posts

re: 2019 Garden Thread
Pillage, I bought some seeds from park seeds and have been impressed with germination rate. All my various lettuce seeds sprouted in 2 days and are 3” tall after a week. Very fast growth. Sowed indoors with lights


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