I need tips on how to get my seedlings to grow. I have them in the house in our solarium because it is SO hot outside right now. I have cabbage, chard, spinach/chard etc. with their first set of leaves. I have already lost some due to too much water, thats my guess as they just fell over. Thanks
Sounds like damping off plus you may be a little too early in season (too hot) for a fall cool weather crop for your area.
Make sure you're using a sterilized non soil potting mix. Not jiffy-peat cylinders or peat pots or peat pot compressed cubes (unless you made them yourself).
I won't try to start my fall cool weather crops until the end of this month and I'm in 6b at altitude (4200 feet) (and just barely at 6b). My frost date can be 15 September to 15 October (12 years of personal records) and it's looking like 15 October.
I will then coldframe my stuff and use floating row cover inside the coldframe as needed and cover the coldframe from half an hour before dark to half an hour after sunup as needed. Going from my early date of 15 September add two weeks for every full growzone (so 9b might be frost on end of October to mid November for that zone)
Starting fall crop I aim for indoor start about 8 weeks before frost date. (I have kale, broccoli and cauliflower going).
I am 6b so 6 1/2 months supposedly, and can eke nine or so months with judicious use of cold frames and floating row cover to produce two cold weather crops and one moderate to hot crop a year, and I gamble with 150 day crops every year. (currently a Chayote that is on top the trellis and with possibly five to six weeks left, might produce. I am looking for blooms... it is this year's experiment. It is normally a 9b or warmer-cut back in the late fall and mulch and it will come back in early spring in 9b and it WILL produce-I am pushing three zones and the season length this year to try.) I am good with assistance to getting a spring cold weather crop (our hot is usually with us 15 May, and with planting cauliflower and broccoli with help on 15 March, have landed store sized heads just before it hotted up).
Your seedlings might want temperatures in the upper 70s to sprout and start, then cool them down some at four leaves but keep them above 50f at night and no more than 80f during day... once in ground or planter or what have you, after the first month they will tolerate the cool, slow down some in growth but should produce in 60-90 days once planted.
Su Ba wrote:Possibly those seedlings died from something called "damping off". I use to have a significant problem with this until I switched to using a sterilized potting medium.
A few years ago, after discovering some of my seedlings from this condition, I saved most seedlings in the same tray. I used hydrogen peroxide in the water to protect the remaining plants. Mix 1 tablespoon hydrogen peroxide to 1 quart water, apply as usual. Even if you watered them 5 minutes ago.
I have found that if my seedlings can remain in sunlight, they don't have this problem. If my seedlings must stay inside, I try to use sterilized medium as Su Ba mentioned. Judith Browning sprinkles cinnamon on top of the soil (as stated in this threadhttps://permies.com/t/69716/sterilize-potting-soil-sale) instead of making tea mentioned on the article.
These are preventative measures. They should prevent the spread, but previously affected plants will not be saved.
This one was worth my dear dollars and cents... and helped me immensely in pushing my season into viability.
This is an awesome book. But I ended up shipping it to family that lives further north. If planted by Sept 15, my climate allows turnips, kale (for cut and come again harvests) and carrots to over winter without protection. Other plants in the same family do need protection, but the amount of work needed is not worth it to me. Find out your USDA grow zone, and what plants can survive periodic freezes.