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Thread: Sturdy Seedling (Is this for real ?)

  1. #1
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    Sturdy Seedling (Is this for real ?)

    Is this true ?

    Sturdy Seedlings: To develop those short, sturdy seedlings for transplant: gently brush your hands across the little plants several times a day to stimulate them. What this does is causes the plant is causes the plant to release ethylene gas, which is a growth inhibitor resulting in slower growth and stronger plants.
    "If I keep a green bough in my heart, a singing bird will come"




  2. #2
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    Where DID you read this?! Sounds hinky to me Woudn't hurt to try it though. Keeping plant light to within a couple of inches from the tops of the seedlings would do the same. And don't ripening apples give off the same gases?

    Rebecca
    Nature is trying very hard to make us succeed, but nature does not depend on us. We are not the only experiment.
    - R. Buckminster Fuller

  3. #3
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    http://www.ghorganics.com/page22.html

    scroll 3/4 down under General Tips
    "If I keep a green bough in my heart, a singing bird will come"




  4. #4
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    Plants grown in too much shade, too much moisture, or warmth develop stems and leaves with elongated cells which make them weak and spendly. The gentle brushing or a breeze from a low volumn fan will cause the stems to react by building more and shorter cells in the stems. The close proximity of the plants also contributes to the shading of stems.

    Additional light, and lower temperatures will also inhibit the "stretching" of the stems and make them sturder.

    So to a some extent, it is true that brushing the seedlings will build stronger stems.
    Tom W
    Aching Back Farm

  5. #5
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    Ah ha ! I like that part about a low volume fan as I've been using a clip on desk fan on my seedlings. I was actually worried that that may not be a good thing but have heard from at least one other that it strengthens them. I can't keep the fan on all day but I am now thinking of putting it on a timer so it runs at the warmest part of the afternoon since they are in a south window(I'm thinking more along the lines of making sure I don't bake them). I try to rotate the seedling cups to ensure everyone gets their share of best, good or fair light each day--but sometimes I get confused if I moved one or not --green things in plastic cups aren't too distinctive. Thanks for the insights.
    "If I keep a green bough in my heart, a singing bird will come"




  6. #6
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    Cathy,

    Believe me... You will know if you have not rotated them enough! LAS! I have been neglectful (busy, busy, busy) and seen seedlings reach horizontally for more light. Perhaps, that is how they get those "Lucky" bamboos to do that swirling thing, huh?

    Many people forget that part of hardening off is allowing the plant to adjust to movements breezes and winds, rainfall, changing temperations and amounts of sun. Most people consider hardening off to be adjusting them to bright sunlight.

    I've gotta admit that I have never thumped, bumped or otherwise tried to manually prepare a seedling for the natural world outside. I just do the transition thing, the best I can...

    Interesting thought, though! I suppose it may work with some plants!
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  7. #7
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    Sturdy seedlings

    As others have mentioned, either brushing the tops of the plants or running a fan (only need a few minutes of fan a few times a day for this) will stimulate the plants to become stronger/sturdier.

    Another interesting trick is to keep the overnight temps. as high as possible. Stretching seems to be stimulated by daytime temps greater than overnight, and some greenhouses have found it profitable to even heat the houses warmer at night than day. This replaces the use of growth regulators which are quite pricey and need special precautions to spray.

    Those potted mums are not just naturally so tight and compact as you get them from a greenhouse, lots of technology goes into that amazing bundle of flowers with just a few inches of stem and leaves below them!

    Personally I just turn on my fan beside the growlight setup whenever I can remember to, I know the little tomato seedlings benefit from this for sure...

    Glen

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