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Seedlings failing again - Help needed

I am a new veg gardener and and struggling with seed germination and the quality of seedlings. I consistently see either very few seeds germinating or the ones that do have very weak stems that wither at the base and snap off (picture attached of purple sprouting broccoli). I am making sure they are not planted too deep, that they the soil is moist but trying not to over water (I have them in a propagator), and trying to give them plenty of sun. Any help/advice on where I am going wrong would be greatly appreciated.


  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 17,228
    They do not need a propagator. I planted broccoli and kale and chinese  salad leaves last weekend, in the greenhouse.  No additional heat. They germinated in three days . I also have them in plug trays. When they get two real leaves they will go outside during the day.  They do not want heat, but do need plenty of light.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 85,976
    edited May 2020
    Hi @luisotton and welcome 😊 

    Tell us more about them. Did you dow them individually into modules or have they been pricked out?  If so I think they’ve been pricked out too soon. They’re too small. They need more leaves and roots to cope with that. 

    Do not panic 😉  ... there’s plenty of time for purple sprouting broccoli ... I’ve not sown  mine yet ... I’ll probably start mine off after this coming cold snap ... I’ll sprinkle a few seeds in a small seed tray and leave them to germinate in the little grow house outside. They don’t need heat ... it makes them soft and then they succumb to damping off or some such problem. 

    Hope that’s useful ... keep asking questions ... we like to help 😊 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • luisottonluisotton Posts: 4
    Hi... I showed them directly in to modules. But the problem is the same with my leeks and cabbage. Thanks
  • Mary370Mary370 Posts: 2,003
    The compost you planted them in seems very dense, therefore it might stay too wet, affecting the seeds?  You need a light compost for seeds.....try changing what your using
  • luisottonluisotton Posts: 4
    I also have spinach and celeriac (both in modules) that have not germinated at all. I’m very confused!
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 85,976
    Are you using a heated propagator?  Those veg don’t need heat. I would only use one for plants that are tender ... tomatoes, runner and French beans, squashes, aubergines, sweetcorn ... plants that aren’t hardy. 

    Veg that are going to survive in our gardens through the winter don’t need heat. 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 53,910
    You need to read the advice you've been given by all the people who've responded
    Not heat and sun. Light.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • luisottonluisotton Posts: 4
    Thanks for all the advice. Very helpful
  • foxwalesfoxwales Posts: 69
    Keep at it, gardening and veg growing is just as much about failure as it is success
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