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newspade
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
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Joined: 02 Mar 2011
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 4:03 am    Post subject: seedlings Reply with quote

i have returned to gardening after a lengthy break. have put in two raised beds , & am currently starting some seeds in the windowsill in my kitchen.i have cabbage sprouts & leeks .all appeared to be doing well(3 weeks) but overnight the cabbages died ,the sprouts & leeks seem fine .can anyone tell me what has happened?
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michael brenock
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 10:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

if they were inside on the window sill then the only thing that could have taken them was damping off where the seedlings keel over at soil level with a grey/black mark where the fungus attacks. Usually occurs under high humidity low temperature and overcrowded conditions. if they were all sown at same time then I would expect the sprouts to suffer a similar fate.while leeks are more resistant to this problem.
michael brenock horticultural advisor (retired)
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tippben
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Joined: 15 Jan 2011
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just sow again. 3 seeds per module, so you can thin out, leaving the strongest. Water, let drain, then sow the seeds. If you put the pots in a tray filled with water, they can wick up the moisture, and you may have more success.
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stonehead
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Had the same problem myself with cabbage and broccoli had them in cells on a south faceing window fine for three weeks and then the leafs droped but the stem looked ok managed to salvage five broccoli but they look pretty miserable could it be the same problem ?
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newspade
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 5:51 pm    Post subject: seedlings Reply with quote

thank you . the seedlings didnt keel over , just leaves turned brown . seeds were all planted two seeds per pot & kept in trays
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Lius
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 7:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe the sun was too hot on the windowsill and burned the leaves, we had some very sunny weather. I have had some sun damage on my broccoli in the raised bed this year because I did not pull the poly cover back early enough a couple of days but I saved them.

I also had a big problem with hot sun on my trays on the windowsill last year. Try putting some shade between the trays and window and crack the window open during the sunny days.
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michael brenock
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

problems can also be caused by too much of a temperature drop between day and night. A temperature may be very high during a sunny period of the day and then at night the temperature drops too much, grow them cooler during the day and warmer at night without exceeding day temperatures. if the compost is not sterilised it may contain many diseases that find easy prey on young seedlings. I am not keen on leaving seedlings in a tray of water as it provides too moist an atmosphere.
michael brenock horticultural advisor (retired)

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michael brenock
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

newspade your problem is different to the other seedlings described. I think the browning is caused by downy mildew of brassicas which is frequent under high temperatures and high humidity. it seldom kills the plants but can stunt the growth and distort the leaves. The plants usually grow out of it on being hardened off.
michael brenock horticultural advisor (retired)
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stonehead
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 10:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes Michael, I can see your point there alright the last two weeks have been pretty warm sure enough, and then when you draw the curtins probably creats a cold pocket or something like that. Will start in the shed this time maybe see better results. Thanks Lius yourself and Michael nailed it i think, what you think newspade.
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newspade
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 11:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i think lius is probably right ,i discovered it the morning after one off our sunniest days , & they are in a south facing window . thanks everyone ,micheal as always you are a world of information , it great the way you are always on hand with some great information , im sure everyone appreciates it
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michael brenock
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

newspade thank you for the compliment, i enjoy answering these queries it keeps me on my toes and it is wonderful that the information is appreciated. There is always something new to be learned.
michael brenock horticultural advisor (retired)
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tippben
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Joined: 15 Jan 2011
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2011 6:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a quick side query for Michael. Do you have any tips on how to sterilise compost prior to sowing?
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michael brenock
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2011 10:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tippben noticed your early start, i did not start quite as early but even though it is late you have asked a great question and there are two answers. first put sieved soil into a container and pour boiling water on top of it covering it completely. After 10-15 minutes pour off the water and empty out the soil onto a clean surface and allow it to cool off and dry. it will take a few days to dry out but it will kill weed seeds pests and diseases and give you a fertile soil. The sterilised soil tends to have a lot of free Nitrogen so you might get rapid growth.
The second way is to put a small quantity in a container and put in the micro-wave oven, i have no idea about quantities or heat settings or time but leave it in long enough until you seem a small amount of steam rising from it. I used this system once and found it to be very successful. The soil should be moist but not wet going into the oven. if weed seeds grow in the compost the temperature has not been high enough or the treatment long enough.
michael brenock horticultural advisor (retired)
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