Irrigating A Better Way
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Irrigating A Better Way

For years I wanted to grow fruits and veggies in my own yard. Unfortunately, every single time I would plant some seeds, they would fail before they ever took off. It was frustrating, but I simply figured I didn't know enough about gardening to make things work. I was right. After reading a book about garden equipment, I could tell that my irrigation techniques were lacking. Some of my garden wasn't getting enough water, and some of it was getting way too much. This blog is all about watering your garden so that you can maximize your results and improve your supply.


Irrigating A Better Way

Growing Pains: 3 Common Seedling Problems And How To Prevent Them

Raymond Smith

Starting from seeds is an inexpensive way to grow plants in large numbers. Whether they're vegetables, flowers, or herbs, it's only a matter of planting seeds in the right soil, watering, and letting Mother Nature take over. However, sometimes it's not always so simple and things can go wrong, which is frustrating. Take a look at 3 common problems seedlings encounter, and how you can avoid them.

Seeds Never Sprout

They say a watched pot never boils, and sometimes seeds don't germinate despite how long you water, wait and watch.  This is where the information on the seed packet regarding soil temperature comes in handy. Some seeds like to germinate in cool conditions, like peas, lettuces and radishes. Other seeds need warmth in order for them to germinate. If you're providing the right temperature and the seeds still don't germinate, the seeds may be old. Try again with some new seeds intended for your current planting year.

Tall Spindly Seedlings

Once seedlings germinate, your patience is finally rewarded. But then they quickly grow overly long and thin stems. Often they grow so tall the two cotyledons cause the seedling to topple right over, killing the plant. This sudden burst of overly vigorous growth can be caused by several things:

  • Too much fertilizer (think seedlings on Red Bull)
  • Temperature is too high
  • Light source is too far away, forcing the seedlings to try to reach more light

It might be too late to tone down the fertilizer unless you transplant your seedlings into new soil containing fewer minerals. Otherwise, turn down the temperature a bit. If you're using grow lights over the seedlings, move the lights as close to the plants as possible without touching them. Seedlings grow best with at least 15 hours of daily direct light.

Stems Rot Near The Soil

Newly growing seedlings seem to be doing fine, then suddenly the stem above the soil line turns brown and the whole plant falls over and wilts. This is called dampening off, and is caused by organisms in the soil attacking the stem. Dampening off happens when the potting soil or growing medium is not sterile. Or, your soil is fine but you planted your seeds in used planting trays. To avoid this, use a sterile potting medium like coir or peat where bacteria and fungus cannot grow.  Wash used planting trays with a weak bleach and water mixture before re-using them again.

If you'd rather buy plants that have already sprouted reach out to a nursery for plants