Why don’t my seeds grow?

I always found that there was something magical to do its seedlings. We put a tiny seed in the ground and after being in the care of the young plant that comes out of it, we manage to get wonderful vegetables!

But it happens that not everything goes as planned. Here are the most frequently asked questions you asked me about seedlings in containers (buckets, terrines, pots, cellars…).

Also to discover : Sofas Resources and Information

A terrine of leeks Question 1: What is the point of sowing vegetables in buckets?

It is very convenient for different reasons:

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  • We can make your seedlings in advance while it is still too cold and too wet outside. Inside the house you can control the temperature, light, watering. Especially if like me you have a clay earth that takes a long time to warm up in the spring.
  • This protects young seedlings from all “accidents” that could happen to them outside: slugs, late frosts, plowing cat…

Question 2: Why don’t my seeds germinate?

If after 7 to 10 days you do not see anything coming out of the soil, it is because there is a problem of seed germination.

Two possible causes: the first: your seeds were too old. I noticed that even though the dates printed on the sachets say otherwise, some seeds on the trade last hardly longer than 2 or 3 years.

To check it, simply put a few seeds on a previously moistened sheet of paper towel, all in a freezer bag and place it on top of the refrigerator where it is at a good temperature. After a few days, the seeds should germinate and you can gently put them in buckets with potting soil where they will continue to grow.

On the other hand, if after 2 weeks they did not germinate, it is because they are good to throw away and you can go buy new ones.

The second cause is that the seeds rotted on the spot because you watered the soil too much. True, it must be constantly wet, but barely wet!

Pea germination test Question 3: My seeds are new but take a long time to germinate. What’s going on?

Some vegetables such as tomato, pepper or eggplant need some heat for germination to start. I place the buckets on a radiator, on the gas boiler or on a small heating mat and I monitor every day that they do not lack water (without excess either).

Others like parsley or onion require patience: they usually take about ten days to germinate.

Question 4: With what amount of water do I need to water my young seedlings?

As has already been seen, the soil should not be sogged, otherwise it can cause seedlings to rot. On the other hand, their roots are not very developed and any drought would be fatal to them. The best is to water in the saucer, so from below. And this makes it possible to throw away the excess water that would not have been absorbed after a few hours.

For my part, I often lost seedlings because I was not attentive enough. So I found in the trade a system that forgives the lack of attention: these are polystyrene cells, placed on a felt that soaks in a tray containing water. By a phenomenon of capillarity, regular moisture is brought to the seedlings. I have been using this system for several years now for all kinds of seedlings: salads, beets, cabbage, cucumbers…

My Alveoli self-irrigating Question 5: How much light do my vegetable seedlings need?

Most seeds do not need light to germinate. With a few exceptions such as salads, dill, savory and celery.

But as soon as the tiny stems come out of the ground, they must be given 12 to 16 hours of light every day. A window, even facing south, will not be enough, especially if in your area spring is cloudy and rainy.

If you do not have a bright veranda, it will be better to invest in a growth lamp so that the seedlings can grow well.

Question 6: My seedlings all lean on the same side, why?

If you see that your young shoots are all leaning in the same direction, it is also due to a light problem. This often happens when buckets are placed behind a window, stems are attracted to the light. They say the seedlings are spinning.

Question 7: The stems of my seedlings are all thin and stretched. What’s going on?

It is said that the seedlings are stolen. This is because they haven’t received enough the sun’s rays. So they grew up all the way to try to get the light. If you realize it in time, things are catch-up, but only to a certain extent. The solution is of course to quickly put them to light (but not in direct sunlight, which would make them toast).

Question 8: My seedlings remain small and the leaves turn yellow. Is it serious?

This is a sign that your seedlings are in too poor and not fertile soil. This is often the case with seedling soil therefore I use rather universal soil which is more nitrogen rich.

Yellowing can also appear on seedlings that have remained too long (several months) in their bucket. The plant consumed all available nitrogen.

The ideal would then be to immediately plant the seedlings in the vegetable garden, but if they are too small or if the season is not yet advanced, there are several ways to bring them nitrogen in the meantime.

They can be repoted in a slightly larger container. The new soil used to fill the spaces will provide nitrogen.

Alternatively, they can be given nitrogen-rich fertilizer, for example by using liquid fertilizer for green plants.

And if like me you are not for chemicals, a little diluted urine to 20% will do the trick perfectly.

Question 9: Overnight, my young shoots fall, broken at their base. What’s going on?

This is commonly called the melting of seedlings. It is a microscopic fungus that develops in the soil and attacks the bottom of the stems. The cause is most often an excess watering. The only thing to do is empty and clean the buckets and then redo the seedling.

To prevent the occurrence of this problem, I always wait until the soil is dry on the surface (its color becomes lighter) before watering.

This cucumber shoot will not survive How to avoid all these problems

As often, it is by practicing that you will be able to make progress. By the way of trying, the experience will come and you will have more and more successes in your seedlings.

I still occasionally miss a bucket seedling. I do not despair and I do it again immediately!

If you have any further questions about indoor seedlings, I am at your disposal to answer them in the commentsbelow.

is a microscopic fungus that develops in the soil and attacks the bottom of the stems. The cause is most often an excess watering. The only thing to do is empty and clean the buckets and then redo the seedling.

To prevent the occurrence of this problem, I always wait until the soil is dry on the surface (its color becomes lighter) before watering.

This cucumber shoot will not survive How to avoid all these problems

As often, it is by practicing that you will be able to make progress. By the way of trying, the experience will come and you will have more and more successes in your seedlings.

I still occasionally miss a bucket seedling. I do not despair and I do it again immediately!

If you have any further questions about indoor seedlings, I am at your disposal to answer them in the comments

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