Stupid Seeds or Stupid Me

Do you ever wonder sometimes why you listen to your husband...especially when something ends up going wrong and his answer is well I don’t know anything about that why would you listen to me......LOL

So last Thursday I planted my seeds and went to take the trays downstairs to the shelving Mr.P had set up with lights. They were sitting on the kitchen floor by the window and directly in front of the heat vent which I knew wasn’t good. However, Mr.P in his wisdom said that was the perfect place for them. Even better than downstairs under the grow lights he said. Since his mother has always grown her own veggies from seed and he seemed to be a wealth of knowledge on the subject I listened to him. This is my first time growing seeds indoors and he is the one that knew about what to grow them in, what kind of lights to buy and so on. I couldn`t really argue, because I didn`t know and I am too stupid to listen to my gut.

Move on to a week later and my seeds have shot up and some are already taller than the containers. They are beyond leggy and some of the soil is getting mold spots. When I tell this to Mr.P his response is well you shouldn’t have left them there then should of you. Because what does he know about growing veggie seeds.  So right now I am beyond mad. I think I am going to have to toss the whole lot of them and start over which I putting me a week behind. Now I have to stop typing and breath or I might just drive over to the farm and kick Its my own fault I knew better, but it is hard to kick yourself and get the same satisfaction....LOL Not that we actually go around kicking each other...LOL and at least he is the kind of guy that feels horrible about giving me the wrong info and would be more than willing to replant everything for me which makes it extremely hard to stay mad at him. Now if I could only be that easy on

I took them downstairs and put them under the lights with a little fan blowing warm air since it is a bit cool down there. The lids are full of condensation so I took them off since they are getting too much moisture.

Tray 3 which has no growth yet should be okay. I did see 2 mold patches in this one though :(

Tray 2 which is cauliflower, broccoli and onions has a few sprouts that are about an inch or so tall so I think they might be okay too. 

Tray 3 The cabbage on the other hand......I think is a loss.

Leeks and Brussels sprouts might be okay

leggy cabbage

 If anyone has any suggestions I would love to hear them!!! In other words.....CQD


  1. Well, I wouldn't just throw them out. You might want to start a few more, just in case, but once you have these under lights for 12 hours a day or so they might be OK. Keep the lights close to the tops, like about 2"! I've found they can be planted in the soil a bit deeper than they come from the containers, all the way up to the first leaves, so some of that long stem can be underground eventually. If mine get leggy like that, which they do if grown on the windowsill and not under lights, I pot them up into plastic cups (with a couple of drainage holes in the bottoms) and bury them up to the bottom leaves, then get them under the lights.

  2. The key to keeping your starts from getting leggy is to have them under the lights from day one and to have the lights as close to the seedlings as possible. Get those lights down to 1 inch away from your seedlings and they will never get leggy stretching for light!!

  3. Yep - it's lack of light that is the problem here, as the others say.

    Brassicas are pretty hardy but will crave light - can you put the trays out under a coldframe or unheated greenhouse? That suits our climate, but maybe not yours if you still have really low temps - I never have to use growlights.

    I would think that you're getting plenty of daylight now, now we are past the equinox, so I'd put them on a south facing light windowsill. Even better would be a sheet of card with a sheet of foil on rigged up behind the seedlings to reflect the light back.

    I don't think that I'd chuck them out either (you've invested in those jiffy 7's after all) but as AG suggests, bury them them up to the seed leaves when you pot them up/plant them out.

  4. I don't have a green thumb - we tried this last year - and it was a disaster. So, not doing it again.

    I envy you for trying! And GOOD LUCK!! :) Can't wait to see how this all turns out.

    (I'll be lucky to get potatoes in the group by June!)

  5. Yeah window light never works well in the north. It is too dim. I use lights that are almost touching the plants. The closer the better. I have the light on for 15 hours a day. Don't worry about moss forming on the surface of the soil. It happens. Most of the time it is innocuous. Same for mold. You won't see damping off unless the stem actually falls over. It isn't the same as the stuff is visible.

  6. So sorry Mrs. Pickles. Hope your seedlings recover. Good Luck!

  7. I'm with AG on this one! I wouldn't throw them up, not yet anyway! Try up-potting them all the way to the first set of leaves... hopefully that should work :)

  8. I wouldn't throw them out either. Just get them under the lights and they will be fine.

    Now, don't listen to someone who doesn't know anything about starting plants.....even if he is your hubby!

  9. Sounds like everyone has given good advice.

    For my oart I just wanted to say that this post cracked me up. Especially the "why did you listen to me, what do I know" refrain :)

  10. Granny is right, lower the lights. Also it might help to cut down on your watering to control the mold. If they were in front of the heat you probably had to give them more water to keep them from drying out, so cut it back a bit so they are moist but not wet, and the tray they are in has no standing water in it. In the future make sure to remove the plastic covers on your growing trays as soon as the sprouts pop up (leaving them on is the biggest contributor to mold growth and damping off). They actually don't look too bad, I hope they come out well for you!

  11. one other thing. It may also help to try a different seedling mix. I tried two different ones this year and found that one of them stayed wet much longer than the other and didn't seem to drain as well either. I tried a bunch of different things this year and the ones that worked best for me were Jiffy Seedling mix and either reused plastic pots or newspaper pots. The peat pots seem to wick moisture away from the soil, little peat starter thingies (the hard dry disks with cloth mesh around them) seem to breed mold, and the Black Gold mix didn't drain well. Hope it helps!

  12. Stoney Acres- I moved my trays down right away on wednesday and the cabbage is still Thanks for the advice

    RandomGardener- I am going to be hunting for large cups to plant the cabbage in today. I will give the cabbage another week before I really consider tossing it!

    Anywhreeden- thanks for the great tips. I have moved everything under the lights now and I hope that helps. It has been quite a learning curve starting seeds indoors, but still fun

  13. Aw, sorry to hear about your seedlings! I had some leggy cabbages and lettuces that I just potted up like others have suggested, being careful not to break the stem when I was burying it under some dirt. They have made a full recovery and are leafing out just fine now!

    If you do end up tossing it... toss it into the garden! It may root and surprise you with a good meal someday. :)


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