Tuesday, April 7, 2009

She's got leggy plants and she knows how to lose them!

I have been ogling my seedlings on the patio table recently and thinking how amazingly talented I am for growing plants in pots. My gardening bravado was quickly crushed when I perused other gardening blogs and learned that my little seedlings are leggy. This "leggy" term is new to me - as are most gardening terms I've come across.


Leggy is fancy gardening talk for "New gardener doesn't know what she's doing and screwed up the seedlings by planting them too shallow, too hot, too far from light, or too anything, which has caused a long, flimsy craptacular stem, which usually leads to premature floppage and untimely death."

Yes, I have a case of the leggies. I've read that leggy tomatoes can be saved by planting them deep because the stems will grow roots enabling the plant to be stronger, so maybe there is hope for some of my long-legged little fellers. But the rest of my leggy minions? I wonder if their future is bleak. Has their fate been sealed? I fear it has. Just look at this death row line-up of seedlings if you've got the heart. Pitiful.



I have leggy okra. Leggy cauliflower. Leggy broccoli. Pretty much leggy everything. I went from being proud everything was so tall to being crushed that everything is so tall. Sure - I started my seedlings on the patio with only sunlight as their light. It's boiling in the garage, so that didn't seem like a cool place for them. We keep the A/C in the house set to about 81 degrees, so the house didn't seem cool enough - besides, I have no idea where I could safely put an entire tableful of seedlings inside the house where they'd be safe from boys, chickens, cats and a clumsy dog. So the patio seemed like the right place. Apparently the patio is the source of the evil-legginess that plagues my seedlings.


I'm not sure it's even worth planting these leggy things in the garden. Maybe I should just to give them a fighting chance. It seems a bit drastic and sadistic to snuff them out with a quick chuck in the compost pile when they're clearly alive today. Oh the life and death decisions that plague me now that I have entered into the dark world of gardening…What to do…what to do...

14 comments:

Carole said...

I for one am glad you have leggy seedlings. It proves that in life we are not perfect and that we have to have a few mishaps to appreciate the things that do go right. Are your boy's leggy...I don't believe so...so there, you can grow some things perfect! Keep planting

Dani said...

It happens to all of us. Ggrrr...:)

I've been trying to get a picture up on my blog where the title is, but it keeps coming out huge. How did you get yours up?

Christa said...

We too have a case of the leggies! We always have trouble seed starting inside. Sometimes they come around and sometimes... our cat sits on them.

Darla said...

Oh heck give 'em a go! I too had some very leggy seedlings, I transplanted them into larger pots and buried the majority of the stems, some did fine some did not, I couldn't give up on them though!

Cheryl said...

Despair not, Little Grasshopper. If not for the failures, we couldn't appreciate the successes.

On a serious note, if it's hot enough outside to have your air conditioner going it should be safe to plant directly in the ground.

whiterice said...

The leggy virus is spreading, and has in fact reached the Midwest. I think I too will have a whole lot of leggy seedlings. Not to worry though, we can just plant them deep (or very, very deep!).

Kate and Crew said...

If any of my gardening guru pals check back here...

I know I can plant my 'maters deep and they **should** do okay...

but how about my okra? Can it get planted deep?

and the broccoli?

Thoughts?

Do all plants do okay planted deep or do some not do well with that?

Engineeredgarden said...

Yes, you should be able to plant all of them deep. I had a case of the leggies last year, and figured out I needed to build the propagation chamber to get good seedlings. Oh! BTW, apparently my blog's server crashed or something. I'll be using http://engineeredgarden.blogspot.com from now on. It will take a couple days to get everything setup. Good luck!

EG

Kate and Crew said...

Dani - your blog header is 663 x 163. You could make it a pixel or two off from that... Just get an image and resize it to those dimensions. If you want help, just email me - my email addy is in the right column of the blog. I'll be glad to help.

EG - so my okra can go in deep too? I sure hope so! I had my heart set on those okra this year!!!

Wicked Gardener said...

Oh! We got to let Cheryl know how it is in Central Florida. Last week I wanted to go swimming. This week - Turn on the Heat!! (BTW - I have the leggies too. Let us know what happens to yours.)

Dani said...

Thanks Kate! I'll give it a go again after the grocery this morning.

I think the okra would do fine planted deep, but I'm not sure about the broccoli.

Cheryl said...

Cheryl has been enlightened. I just read "The Flattening." I guess your weather is as strange as ours is here in Chicago.

Sue said...

I started to respond to your SOS, wondering if you'd hardened the plants by putting them outside in the shade first, then gotten them used to the sun, but decided to look at older posts first. I'm surprised you had leggy plants outside. Some of mine are leggy, too. It's too early here to put things out. The melons, pumpkins, etc. and okra prefer the lows at night be in the 50s or warmer. Also, they need to be kept watered at first, because their roots are still the size of the pot, and if that soil is dry, they are too, even if the soil around them is moist.

I'm sorry you are having such a loss! I don't know if what I thought of was helpful.

Sarah said...

This is awesome :) I love your leggy seedlings. I gave some okra seedlings to a beloved family, and I was so proud of this gift... but then was told they were "leggy"... what is this "Leggy"? Well, now I know, and I also know I am not alone haha! Oh well! Live and Learn! :D We are going to see if they grow :) I'm not stressin'

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