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Subject:  Seedlings flopping over, is this okay?

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Cucurbita123

Boston, MA

First time grower, started my seedlings indoors by a window and with a supplemental grow light. They first sprouted a week ago, and now the plants are all about 8 inches tall, with long narrow stems and cots that are ~5 inches long on each side (bigger than I was expecting!). As soon as the first true leaves appeared a few days ago, they've started flopping over to the side under the weight of their leaves. Is this normal? Its only happening on the seeds I got from a 1050lb pumpkin... the three seedlings from store-bought Atlantic Giant seeds are a little shorter but haven't flopped over at all. Should I be propping them up until the stems get stronger or just letting them grow sideways if they want?

4/25/2021 3:02:04 PM

spudder

What type of grow light and how far away. Sounds like they got leggy from light being too far away. Pictures in a diary would be very helpful to getting correct answers.

4/25/2021 5:22:00 PM

spudder

What type of grow light and how far away. Sounds like they got leggy from light being too far away. Pictures in a diary would be very helpful to getting correct answers.

4/25/2021 5:22:01 PM

spudder

Bury them up to cot leaves when transplanting if that is what is happening.

4/25/2021 5:26:48 PM

Cucurbita123

Boston, MA

It's an LED grow light and I've had it about 6 inches away from them, moving it up as they grow. I had no idea it was making them leggy, oops! Should I try mounding the soil up to the cots now to save them? I'm not planning to transplant for 2 weeks, living in the northeast. I haven't tried opening a grower diary yet but will do that tonight and add a photo. :)

4/25/2021 6:10:19 PM

pumpkinpal2

Syracuse, NY

I had to look around for my own 'grow light' wisdom and here it is, a BIT modified, lol:

"all the above, plus:
perhaps the grow light is not powerful enough--i do not know what the wattage of a grow light is but i'll bet it's probably a small assembly, much smaller than the 4-foot-long standard shop-light from the hardware store i would recommend----with one plant/aquarium light in one side and one sunlight-simulating one in the other, suspended with
clothesline rope through screw eyes attached to the ceiling, or in my case the boards above in my basement. Don't allow the plants to dictate the distance to the lights, too much - by raising the lights, you are teasing them to grow taller, yes?

I personally have no problems with the leaves intermingling with the bulbs.
NONE! Like fish in a coral reef, all good. No higher than 2 40-watt bulbs per fixture, though(!);

4/25/2021 9:13:30 PM

pumpkinpal2

Syracuse, NY

now, the other thing is, (if you don't) you have to have the lights on all the time! you can NOT turn them off and on as if the plants were outside---this would be simulating the real outside world and guess what plants want to do out there...
yes, GROW! see, under 24-7 lighting, the seedlings still take-in all that light energy and put it to good use, but they don't get out of control, it costs nearly nothing for what it accomplishes, and this is all i can recommend. keep the (tiny, on LOW) fan on them GENTLY from about 5+ feet away, preferably oscillating. i have had the same lights for a good 10 years and have not had the 'leggy' problem."

PS---get them away from the window. Window=Grow/Window=Grow...like a bug that is there all day. Poor bastard. Change its luck! Ahem.

PS2---You CAN use the legginess to your advantage, as was mentioned-at, by laying the plants in the patch at a SERIOUS angle in the direction you want them to grow---there should be no need for the plants to flop over any more by then---eg

PS3---They won't want to change their shape of their stems, so, perhaps once the lighting is better, you may wanna literally create a pegboard with moveable pegs;
OMG, here's what I'm thinking: small piece of plywood with a piece of pegboard attached at a right angle, complete with pegs or really, really long screws sticking out; put under lights, SECURE!, place plants against with stems now guided, boom, done, lol. Me done, too.
Good luck----eg

4/25/2021 9:13:39 PM

The Gridiot

10,000 BC Younger Dryas 2

It's not a problem just keep the wind from blowing them around when they get planted outside.

4/26/2021 12:50:08 AM

cojoe

Colorado

Bury them up to the cots if you can.You can also stake them. Two weeks is a long time in the life of a AG seedling.

4/26/2021 4:00:08 PM

Cucurbita123

Boston, MA

Thank you all for your responses! I buried them as high as I could (without overflowing their pots) and then staked them. And @pumpkinpal2, I like the idea of using their flop to my advantage to guide their direction of growth when transplanting. I'm going to set up a little fan in the room too, very smart.

4/27/2021 8:20:04 PM

pumpkinpal2

Syracuse, NY

Yay! and, yer welcome;
It's funny that I, too had planted my 188 seed as a reference against some others - I was seeing that if THAT seed sprouted by Method X in X hours, so too should the rest. Hmmm. So that one sprouted and the others did not, and now I have an orphan 188 that I put in the WINDOW that got leggy, lol, which MAY be one that I keep after all, since my dream is to have a few plants out by the 1st weekend in May...4 days away.
Ahhh - Livin' The Dream! later---eric g---
'Method X' - Great name for a death metal band, lol---

4/27/2021 11:36:41 PM

Alexsdad

Garden State Pumpkins

I'm having the same problem. I'm really rusty since it's been a few years since doing this. If I transplant the leggy seedling up to the cots is it advisable to apply some sort of root tone to the extended length before burying it that deep?

5/5/2021 10:56:35 AM

cojoe

Colorado

Yes it seems to help them throw roots faster on the newly buried section.

5/5/2021 12:30:53 PM

Alexsdad

Garden State Pumpkins

Thanks cojoe!

5/6/2021 8:51:26 AM

Total Posts: 14 Current Server Time: 5/16/2022 6:35:44 PM
 
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