New Sprouts

by Paul
(Michigan)

My seeds have sprouted but it seem all my plants are growing tall but thin and cannot support themselves.

I thought I was over-watering but then thought I was under-watering.

Any Help?


ANSWER:

Hi Paul,

It's probably the amount of light the seedlings are receiving, or lack of air circulation, and not the water that is the problem.

Are you growing them indoors using grow lights? The grow lights should be one or two inches above the tops of the seedlings.

Too little light can cause weak spindly seedlings, as they are searching for light.

It is important that the seedling have some air circulation from a fan or breeze. Some gardeners also brush the tops of the seedlings gently with their hands. This is to help promote stocky growth.

Too much light can also cause seedlings to grow too quickly and become tall and spindly. The grow lights should be on for about 15 hours per day.

The soil should be evenly moist, but not soggy wet.

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Old Seeds

How can I tell if old vegetable seeds will sprout?



ANSWER:

If you don't want to wait and try them in your garden, you can sprinkle a few of the seeds on a folded wet paper towel. Put the paper towel with the seeds inside, in a plastic bag and leave it at room temperature. Keep the paper towel damp by adding a teaspoon or so of water as needed.

Check the seeds after a few days to see if they are sprouting. If most of them sprout within a week or 10 days, go ahead and use them in your garden.

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Germination

by George Greschel
(Shepherdsville KY)

How long does it take for green beans to germinate?



ANSWER:

It depends on the soil temperature, moisture, air temperature, and the bean seed itself.

Usually under ideal conditions, it will take about 5-7 days. However, if the soil is too cold, or too dry, it can take longer.

If you soak the bean seeds in water for a few hours or overnight just before planting, it can help speed up the germination process.

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