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Beginner Vegetables: Chard & collards not doing well

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Forum: Beginner VegetablesReplies: 8, Views: 51
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AliciaF
Oakland Park, FL
(Zone 10b)

October 22, 2013
5:24 PM

Post #9692399

As many on this post are I'm very new to vegetable gardening & decided to start from seedlings. My collards (Georgia southern) & chard (bright lights variety) started off beautifully with almost a 100% germination rate. They looked great the first week and than slowly started dying. They first appeared wilted & then eventually died. No spots or bugs noted. I had them in cell starter kits and watered daily. They were left outside under the shade of a carport. Could I be over watering? Under watering? Is it still to hot? Any advice would be appreciated! Thanks :-)

kittriana

kittriana
Magnolia, TX
(Zone 8b)

October 23, 2013
9:07 AM

Post #9692947

do you have an outdoor garden to transplant to? Collards do better sown straight to ground, and chard probably does too. It is time past to get them into ground. Misting in the starter kits, not watering, and after sprouting mist less, there is drainage? do you have them where once sprouted they can get sun? They are sun hogs and need good drainage. Do you have snails? they love to climb up into pots and do a great deal of damage as well, by the way- we love pictures

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

October 23, 2013
9:55 AM

Post #9692988

1. Too hot.
2. Overwatering.
3. They like cool/cold weather
4. You do have time to start them over...

Did you put any fertilizer on those seedlings? If you did, don't fertilize the new ones you start, until they have at least 4-5 sets of true leaves beyond the 1st two leaves that develop. Those first two are the "nurse leaves". They will nourish the plant until they shrivel up and/or drop off, whichever comes first.

After 4-5 sets of true leaves, if you need to hold your seedlings from transplanting into the garden for whatever reason, feed them a very WEAK application of fertilizer, once a week (WEAKLY, weekly). If you're not into organics, plain old Miracle Grow for veggies will do. Enough in a gallon of water to barely color it, should be a good measure.

LMK how it goes.

And, yea, like Kitt said, we like pictures!

Godspeed and Good Harvest!

Linda

This message was edited Oct 23, 2013 12:00 PM
AliciaF
Oakland Park, FL
(Zone 10b)

October 23, 2013
7:54 PM

Post #9693497

Thanks so much! I transplanted the few remaining plants to larger containers and put them In full sun so we'll see how it goes. No snails that I could speak of & nothing appears eaten. I have not used any fertilizer at this point. I'll try uploading some pics tomorrow. But I am beginning to think to much water. I certainly wasn't misting and kept the cells constantly moist.

kittriana

kittriana
Magnolia, TX
(Zone 8b)

October 23, 2013
8:07 PM

Post #9693509

transplanting to larger pot was an excellant idea as they would probably jump into growin with room to stretch their feet, in full sun, watch the watering as well, but your humidity ought to be high there, tho that wont help the medium, let em have room to do their thing
AliciaF
Oakland Park, FL
(Zone 10b)

October 30, 2013
8:54 AM

Post #9698247

Here is a pic of one of the chard seedlings that started off well than failed to thrive & died off. You can see how the stem rotted? Died? In the middle.

Thumbnail by AliciaF
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

October 30, 2013
10:05 AM

Post #9698295

That looks like "damping off". The stem becomes pinched closed, strangling nutrients to the seedling.

A possible contributor to "damping off" includes:
►Watering from the top.
After your initial watering in of your sown seeds, all watering should be done in the drip pan, from below. Let the plants take up the water from below.

I top water my seedlings for the first three waterings, and sparingly at best, just to get the seeds started. I mix a capful of Hydrogen Peroxide to a gallon of water, and use this to top water the seedlings with a turkey baster, only gently moistening the potting mix. After those 2-3 waterings, I switch over to adding the water to the drip tray. Only enough for the plants to suck it up in about 15 minutes to 1/2 hour. Then, I use that turkey baster to suck out any water from the trays, especially overnight. NEVER leave your seedling pots sitting in water overnight...

Linda

AliciaF
Oakland Park, FL
(Zone 10b)

October 30, 2013
6:57 PM

Post #9698707

Linda you won't be surprised to know that I have tried twice with chard in the last month. The first attempt I filled the drip pan and left it filled constantly - soil was always super moist and nothing survived. Second attempt watered frequently from the top. Oh well, if at first you don't succeed try again!!! Third time will be started this Friday! Thanks again for the knowledge & advice!! :-)
Alicia

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

October 31, 2013
8:16 AM

Post #9699008

LOL, ok, we're gonna get you some Chard seeds started!

I'm gonna send you my phone number in a dmail. CALL me, and I'll talk you through it. Easier that way.

Hugs!

Linda

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