I kill baby plants!
May 17, 2007 7:54 PM Subscribe
I kill baby plants! Help me, gardeners!
posted by thehmsbeagle to Home & Garden (11 answers total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
So my problem is that I am unable to grow things from seed.
I do not, exactly, have a black thumb. Things I buy as plants grow vigorously, by and large. Also, I've read up on this problem, but all the gardening experts seem to think that seed-starting is incredibly easy, and don't give tips for MORONS such as myself.
When I grow things from seed, this is how it goes:
I plant the seeds in some variety of (sterile) starter mix or potting soil or those little discs that expand alarmingly when watered. I use new or clean pots. I plant the seeds at the recommended depth. I water thoroughly.
I put the pot/tray on my kitchen windowsill, which gets a reasonable, but not overwhelming, amount of light.
"Grow, grow, baby plants! " I say.
After a few days, the seeds sprout and grow! I cheer. But then, tragedy strikes. At about three, four days to a week post-sprout, the seedlings seem to stop growing.
The seedlings start to look sad. Not sick, mind you. Just... a general failure to thrive. They don't have bugs or look diseased or anything, they just stop growing. I nurse them along for another week or two with flagging hope.
Then I give up and buy generic tomato plants from the hardware store.
I want to be able to grow interesting things from seed! What am I doing wrong?
I realize that you're supposed to harden seedlings off, but surely not at four days? Am I overwatering? Are they not getting enough light? Am I planting the seeds too close together? The seedlings start to look depressed before they've gotten their first real leaf; should I be thinning right away? Should I maybe put them outside as soon as they sprout?
HELP. The only tomatoes I'm able to grow from seed are the vigorous plum tomatoes that volunteer themselves in the compost, which is totally unintentional and, frankly, kind of humiliating.
Any clear instructions on how to start plants from seed? A book or website would be very pleasing, too.
If it matters, I live in zone 10. (But the plantlets expire long before going outside. ARGH.)