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Long Stringy Herbs

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
by TheBlackThumb on November 21, 2006 02:10 PM
I've been trying to grow herbs from seeds indoors recently. I'm in a condo, so indoors is all I am able to do.
So far, what I've geen getting is nowhere what the picture on the package looks like and I have no idea why.
Here's what I've been doing:

I use a herb starting soil mix bought from a local greenhouse.
I start them under 2 flourescent lights (one regular, one for growing) for about 16 hrs a day.
I've had good success getting them to germinate.
The stems never seem to thicken and they end up falling over.
They are spindly things with very small leaves and are totally unusable.
They are now out from under the lights but they haven't improved.
I've tried cutting them down to regrow and they grow the same way.

I follow this up by posting a picture, but for now, has anybody got any suggestions?

Am I keeping the lights on too long?
by Shirley4 on November 21, 2006 09:00 PM
[wavey]
Sorry, I don't know, but I had to tell you that I love your name and skeleton!!

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by tkhooper on November 21, 2006 09:05 PM
First question that comes to my mind is how far are the lights from the plants. You should have the light 2 to 4 inches from the plants. I know it seems to close but that's what's required. Second of all there is a solution that you want to use on the seeds before you plant them to stop damp off disease which is prevailent when planting indoors. Also you probably want to use half strengh plant food. Hopefully, something I've said will help. Good luck with your herbs. I'm growing oregano, thyme, mint, sage, chives and cinnamon basil inside this year. The thyme is spindly and the mint lost all it's leaves when it first came inside but it's recovering nicely now.

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by TheBlackThumb on November 22, 2006 11:34 PM
When I started them they were that close. As they grew I raised the lights.
I had read if the lights were too far, then the plants 'strive' to reach the light and grow too thinly. I tried to avoid this, but it still happened.
Growing isn't my problem - growing too fast is.

Is there a way to slow down their growth rate to allow the stems/stalks to get thicker to support future growth and keep the plants upright?
by tkhooper on November 22, 2006 11:42 PM
if they are thin it maybe damp off disease and there is a solution you can soak the seeds in to stop that from happening. The other suggestion is to buy a potting/starting soil that has no plant food or fertilizer mixed in it. The other way to thicken stems is to pinch back the ends of the stems where the new growth is forming.

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by comfrey on November 27, 2006 12:14 PM
quote:
Originally posted by tkhooper:
if they are thin it maybe damp off disease and there is a solution you can soak the seeds in to stop that from happening. The other suggestion is to buy a potting/starting soil that has no plant food or fertilizer mixed in it. The other way to thicken stems is to pinch back the ends of the stems where the new growth is forming.
I agree with tk on soil with no plant food, some herbs will only thrive in regular soil. I would say that plant food/light are your problems...Could you post a picture so we could see them and then we could help you better.

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