General Discussion:


Messages posted to thread:

barry02-Apr-05 03:39 AM EST 5   
GlenT02-Apr-05 07:26 PM EST 7   
barry03-Apr-05 04:16 AM EST 5   
GlenT04-Apr-05 07:32 AM EST 7   
Carol09-Apr-05 10:50 PM EST 5a   

Subject: seedlings
From: barry
Zone: 5
Date: 02-Apr-05 03:39 AM EST

Does anyone know how to encourage plants to grow bushy. My marigolds, tomatoes,petunias, etc. are growing but very spindly. I have lots of light, they are growing in a greenhouse.Thanks for your help once again.

Subject: RE: seedlings
From: GlenT
Zone: 7
Date: 02-Apr-05 07:26 PM EST

Barry-a couple things to try.

First, commercial growers sometimes use chemicals to get compact plants. However, they also use the fact that comparatively warm overnight temps. help to reduce stretching. In some cases this extra overnight heat is cheaper than the chemicals they would otherwise use. The optimum is actually having overnight temps the same as daytime, but I can't imagine doing that in my greenhouse...just keep it as warm as possible thru the night, and if you ventilate near dawn, the shock of the cool air at that time seems most effective at "tricking" the plants into this compact thing we're trying to get.

Another helpful thing can be some kind of fan, to just stimulate the leaves/stems similar to brushing them (which you can also do). The stagnant nature of smaller greenhouses esp. can be less stimulating to the robust kind of growth we're looking for, a tiny fan can do the trick in making the plants feel they're being "touched", which seems to be good for them. Also helps to avoid fungus development and damping off.


Subject: RE: seedlings
From: barry
Zone: 5
Date: 03-Apr-05 04:16 AM EST

thanks Glen I do have the same temp. around the clock and fans running. I cut the tops off some of these to see if that would slow them down and make them a little more bushy. I do not want to kill them . I saw in one of the dept. stores patio tomatoes. They were short and had a heavy stock. thats what I'm trying to accomplish.I think by cutting off the tops it will make them bushy, what do you think? Barry

Subject: RE: seedlings
From: GlenT
Zone: 7
Date: 04-Apr-05 07:32 AM EST

Barry--I've noticed a difference with tomatoes from different varieties. Some of the patio varieties like tumbler and another awesome one from Burpee I used to get here just naturally grow very stout and compact. The indeterminate varieties like my gold cherry hybrid are just the opposite...I can usually pick that variety out without looking at a label coz it's taller and narrower than any others long before it's time to plant it out!

If possible, try to pinch out the tops rather than cutting lots off, it will set the plants back a lot less. But if they are just way too high, cutting them back rather hard is better than leaving them...they will branch after either treatment...Glen

Subject: RE: seedlings
From: Carol
Zone: 5a
Date: 09-Apr-05 10:50 PM EST

I have the same problem with my tomato's and broccoli seedlings, they are very fragile looking; I have started putting them in a protected spot outside in the afternoon. But my lupinsare looking great. I have another question about sowing seeds...when the package says sow seeds outside in early spring, does that mean now? Or is it still too early?

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