Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Seedling care: too much or too little - water and fertilizer?

I hate to dwell on the negative, but there are some signs of trouble with some of the seedlings. A leaf on two of the cherokee purple seedlings have shriveled up and fallen off.  I can't tell what it is...if I'm over-watering or under-watering. It doesn't help that the signs of both are the same - wilting. I've been pretty careful about watering so I'm hoping watering is not the problem. I'm wondering if it might be the soil. I'm using miracle gro organic potting soil and I've been watering with "compost tea". I put compost tea in quotes because I'm not sure it is real compost tea - I just threw in a handful of compost, and a tablespoon of epsom salt and azomite in 5 gallon bucket of water and let it sit for a couple of days. The soil look like it gets good drainage - so I don't think it is root rot.  
Wilty leaf on cherokee purple
This is a mild version - another leaf continued to shrivel up and then fell off
One of the broccoli seedlings have completely shriveled up and died. A second one seems to be following suit. I hope the third one survives but if it doesn't, I am glad I planned ahead and started many back ups. 
As of today, the seedling on the left has died and the one of the top right is on its way
This one here is the minigold cherry seedlings - I think this one is under-watering. Looks like the leaves are getting dry from the stem and spreading outward. 
This looks like under-watering? The soil was completely dry - the picture is after I watered it.
The final issue is that some of the seedlings look like they are turning yellow. The potting soil says that it has enough nutrients for 4 months, so I think I am over-thinking the yellowing of the leaves. I'm going to try not to be so obsessive. 
Slight discoloration but I'm not too worried yet


  1. Don't worry this happens to EVERYONE, I started crops outside and bugs got them! and the stem dried up on the brassicas and tomato horn worm, white fly and aphids got terminated everything.

    Oh and I saw the picture of your water chestnut they need to be covered in water completely and in a warm spot, and they will grow.

    I have questions about Japanese Ingredients. Is cooking sake expensive, how much would it cost? Is It very essential?

    1. I figure something always dies...but it is discouraging.

      I've given up on the water chestnut. First, I don't have much space and the ones I had started grow mold.

      Cooking sake should be cheaper than regular drinking sake. I can't remember how much it would be but I want to say like under 10 dollars for a liter. For me, sake is essential when I cook Japanese food...which doesn't happen very often. LOL.

  2. You are not the only one. If I have 10 seedlings of the same plant. Only 2 -3 made it all the way.

  3. I often find potting mix with added fertiliser quite variable. Sometimes it has been in the shop for ages and the fertiliser has got too old to be effective anymore.

    1. I didn't know that fertilizer can expire - perhaps that is the issue. maybe I should add a handful of compost to them. Thanks for the tip!