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Why are my cucumber seedlings lanky?

Saint Martinville, LA(Zone 9a)

I planted cucumber seeds {burpless and straight 8's} 2 weeks ago in the 3" peat pots that you can purchase at WalMart ect. and they were getting so lanky and toppling over so this weekend I transplanted them in tall 6 to 8"plastic McDonald cups with hole in bottom for drainage and they are starting to droop again. I keep them well watered and they are still inside my home with 5 hours of light daily. We're having a late frost Tues. night and my garden is not ready to transplant these seedlings. Should I just scrap all of these seedlings and start over in a week or 2 when my garden is ready or will they be ok? They are green and heathy looking and I thinned them down to one strong plant per cup. When I transplanted to the larger cups should I have gone up to the leaf with the new soil? I just transplanted the way they were in the smaller pots. Should I add more dirt ? See photos.
Any suggestions are sincerly appreciated. Thanks for your time and have a nice week.

Thumbnail by imacajun
Hutto, TX(Zone 8b)

From the picture, I'd guess that the problem is lack of strong enough light. You could try planting deeper, or you could try again. I've always had really good luck direct sowing cucumbers in the garden, without starting them early. You could plant the seedlings, then some seeds along side just in case.


Lincoln, NE(Zone 5a)

I would agree with David's assessment. I think veggies in general need at least 6 hours of good strong direct sunlight. I think I'd try again, either inside ASAP, maybe under a fluorescent light, or outside as soon as you're past your last expected frost. (In our zone 9a, that's March 15, coming up soon!) I think you'll get stronger, healthier seedlings than if you try to salvage these.

Good luck!

Saint Martinville, LA(Zone 9a)

Thanks so much to both of you. Think I'll just scrap the whole project and start over when my garden gets tilled.
Have a nice evening.

Tucson, AZ

I had fantastic results, planting the seed straight into the garden. Everytime I've tried to transplant a cuke or squash, they never make it.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Seedlings would like more like 12 hours of bright light daily, like being within just a few inches of a fuorescent light. Yes, in LA and AZ since you have plenty of warm season I'd say it's probably easier to plant those outside. Although sedlings in the house is fun when it works!

Saint Martinville, LA(Zone 9a)

I put them outside in sunlight and they seem to be catching their second wind so I'll give them another chance and quit babying them and maybe they'll be allright. Who knows?
Thanks again for the help.

Gainesville, FL(Zone 9a)

Those kind of resemble some tomatoe seedlings I have. My cucumbers and squash started out like that when I had them indoors but as soon as I moved them to where they got real sun as well as were sitting under a stronger light the cucumbers and squash got strong and their leaves started strengthening. I have not had the same luck with my tomatoes though, they are still stingy, droopy little things. Now that I think of it, the peppers are even looking good, tomatoes are the only ones still lagging behind :(

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