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growing plants from seed - help?
pineapple_sour wrote in kitchen_gardens
Hey all,

This is a really general question - when starting plants from seed, I seem to be ok at getting them to germinate, but once the plants hit the 3" - 4" height, something goes wrong and they wilt off and die.

I have tried watering them more, watering them less, transferring them to pots sooner, later, etc... I don't know why I seem to be terrible at this.

Does anyone here grow plants from seed? What's your general process for when you transfer, how you water, etc?

(I recognize this depends entirely on what you're growing, but I'm interested on what you guys do. My current plants are a mix of vegetables and herbs, and I container garden since I live in an apartment.

Thanks in advance. 

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If all your plants die as seedlings, no matter what you do, it might be a matter of where you are growing them, and in what. Do they have sufficient light? Is it too hot/cold where they are? Are you using trays or cups, covered or uncovered - do the seedlings have enough room to develop? Are you using decent potting soil? Are they absorbing enough moisture without being flooded?

This. I get far less damping-off now that I'm sure to put my seed pots in the right conditions, esp the right amount of light.

I grow almost exclusively from seed, with the exception of bushes. It sounds like you might have a problem with damping off, but to answer the question you asked:

I plant seeds in either "cell" trays or pots, then transplant them into individual peat pots when they are about five inches tall. I seed more than I will need, because seeds have such a high death rate. I live in a small cabin, and space is scarce, so I cut the large cell trays to fit on the window sill and make trays to fit the sections of cells. I use the same trays when I plant them in peat pots. As soon as it gets warm enough outside, I move the entire operation outside. I don't have specifics on watering, I like to have water standing in the trays, so the plants can drink when they need it. I don't let the peat pots dry out, and if the seeds are in regular pots, I keep the surface of the dirt damp. The larger a seedling is, the harder it is for it to recover from transplanting, so that is why I plan on "ending up" in a peat pot; so there is less stress on the plant when I plant them outside.

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