Tips to Prevent Growing Leggy Seedlings
Growing plants is exciting, but you have to do everything right to ensure the wait is worth it. One of the most common problems gardeners have is the weak development of seedlings, which look leggy and appear as if they would fall anytime.
The problems typically happen when plants are grown indoors. Here are the things you can do to prevent or fix leggy seedlings:
1. Transplant Deeper
Before transplanting the seedling, prepare the following: labels of the plants, containers to transfer the plants, and high-quality potting soil mix.
It is best to transplant them when they reach the height appropriate to where you planted them. Wait until they are an inch tall if you planted the seedlings too close together in seed trays. Meanwhile, wait until the seedlings are three-inch tall before transplanting if you planted them in small pots or plugs.
Put them deeper into the pots when transferring them to their new location and soil. For example, you can plant tomatoes as deep as you can for as long as the leaves won’t be covered with soil. If you want to transplant them deeper, remove the leaves before burying the stem deeper into the soil.
Other plants you can bury as deep as you want to prevent legginess include squash, cucumbers, basil, and peppers. On the other hand, avoid transplanting the following deep into the soil: kale, spinach, lettuce (leafy plants), strawberries, and root crops.
2. Pinch the Seedlings
When growing bushy plants, you can cut off or pinch the second or third set of the leaves they will grow. This process will aid the plants in branching out.
3. Give the Seedlings Access to Air
This is not a problem when planting outdoors. However, indoor planting is different. You must replicate the wind outdoors by placing a fan near the seedlings. Remember to keep the fan away from seedlings that have yet to germinate because their soil needs to sustain moisture.