Monday, May 31, 2010

A Slight Dilemma for Tim Lane in Santa Barbara!

Hello, Growers!

I received the following message from Tim Lane in Santa Barbara:

"Hi Stuart,

I think something went wrong with my pumpkins plants.

The stems to the first and second leaf are very long.

How far down do I plant them? I'm planning on only keeping one plant.


Tim Lane
Santa Barbara, Ca."

My response, (which was probably longer than it needed to be.)

Hi Tim!

Thanks very much for your pictures and message.

Indeed, I see that your seeds sprouted, and that for whatever reason, that they weren't given access to light right away. That's the usual reason that they get "leggy", or the stems elongate. It can happen very quickly, like overnight.

Not to fear. You'll simply transplant them deep enough that the soil is about 1" below the bottom of the leaves. This way, all of the stem that is now in the soil, will become part of the root system. This may mean 8"-10" deep.

Your plants look very healthy, so I wouldn't be too concerned. My suggestion, since I can see roots coming out of the coir pots, is to transplant your seedlings into your mound(s) or planting area soon... Like within 24-48 hours at the latest. You definitely do not want your roots to start circling inside of the coir pot. In fact, when you do transplant, try to gently break up or loosen up the fibers of the coir pot before you transplant it and the seedling into your mound. That way, you'll know the roots will be free to start establishing themselves into your mound.

I hope that this helps!

Good luck this season! You're off to a great start!