Green thumb gardeners.....

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Well-Known Member
Nov 30, 2002
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Southern, NJ
....So what am I doing wrong
I got this neat little seedling tray at Home Depot with 77 little compartments and planted some of my seedlings in it. It says to keep the dome on until they sprout. I did...but look how sorry and leggy my Sunflowers and grape tomatos are looking! The Sunflowers look like a vine!
and the grape tomatos are weedy.

Why can't they look nice and strong and upright like how I see them in the greenhouses? This year I wanted to plant my own from scratch...but it's looking like I'll just have to buy them already done up from the garden center.

Any hints or advice for this "defintely not green thum gal?"


Looks like you didn't supply enough direct light when they were sprouting. All is not lost. Can you rig some kind of light directly (6-8 inches) above the seedlings? This will cause them to grow straight up, heading for the light. You will have to adjust it as they get taller. The stems will thicken in time, yours still only have their first pair of "baby leaves". When you have leggy tomato plants you can plant 3/4 of it underground and they will grow roots all along the stem. That doesn't work for everything though, most plants have to be planted at the same depth they started at. Another important thing-NEVER let seedlings dry out.
Contessa already mentioned what I was going to say! When plants get "weedy", they're usually reaching toward LIGHT.

Some plants will "thicken" up and sprout new branches if you pinch them back a little. However, the ones that only have a couple of leaves at their tops, I wouldn't pinch just yet, as that's their main source in soaking up the sun. Consider this a learning experience!
MIniV is right that some plants can be pinched but don't pinch the sunflowers nor the morning glories (I think thats the other plant?) and there is no need to pinch the tomatoes. Give them more bright light (watch out for direct sun tho it'll burn them on a hot day.) and a little fan blowing on the tomatoes will toughen the stems so they are stronger when you are ready to plant them out. Not too much wind tho just enough to ruffle the leaves when they get the next set (true leaves)
Well thanks guys. So it all comes down to sun it seems then? And I thought I was giving them enough by the kitchen table window. it'w weird as the instructions for the dome says not to give them any sunlight until they start to sprout. I at first started not to, but that did'nt make sense to me. So I started giving them sunlight...evidently not enough. OK...I had not heard of the pinching back. I'll have to keep an eye on that and see if I do it right. Yes that other lot of plants are Morning Glories. Today I took them for an outing on the sunny porch...light breeze but now they're back in as we're going down into the 40's tonight.

I appreciate everyone trouble shooting this for me. Wanted to know if there was a way of salvaging them or if I should've strated over.....good to know they may still have a chance.
I feel bad for you but your not as bad as me yet! Have you killed a cactus yet like I have?? A few times?? :DOH! Good luck!
I feel bad for you but your not as bad as me yet! Have you killed a cactus yet like I have?? A few times?? :DOH! Good luck!
As much as I hate to admit it.....yeaaayyyyyy :DOH!
I have!!!!
And as much as I LOVE catus, I don't buy them anymore for that same reason. Only thing pretty much that will do good for me indoors are Violets. And only until I finally read up somewhere that they need to be watered from the bottom of the vase and not the top.

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