bolting seedlings

Whenever I try to raise seedlings on my kitchen window sill they always grow very tall and become leggy before they get their true leaves, and then they make weedy plants! Any tips out there?


  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,806

    It is the light levels- a window sill is just not sufficient-you can keep turning them by they will always grow towards the light hence leggy plants

    Do not start too early-if you are sowing for summer bedding-wait for another four weeks when conditions will be better-it will all catch up and you will have stronger plants

    Do you have a greenhouse?-somewhere to grow them on?

  • ColinAColinA Posts: 162

    One way to counter the light level problem is to put cooking foil upright and  shiney side to the plants to reflect the light back onto the plants

  • figratfigrat Posts: 1,619

    This shows how to do the tinfoil trick, and also quite a neat idea for maximising indoor growing spce.


  • Oooh, they're using my Heated Propogator in that demonstration image

  • I have the same problem as you Kate, all the seedlings on my window ledges always grow tall and leggy with very few leaves. I have an amazing array of sweet pea seedlings on my bathroom window sill at the moment that are 5" tall with not a leaf in sight!

    Have come to the conclusion this isn't a very good place to grow seedlings. I can either wait until its warmer and try growing some in a slightly sheltered place on my balcony, (I live in a flat). Or I can buy them as small plants from the garden centre and this idea is becoming more and more attractive to me.
  • LynLyn Posts: 8,055
    When they get two pairs of leaves you can pot them on burying them deeper into the new soil. You can pop them in two inches deeper. Don't over water and they won't rot off. I have done this with several annual seedlings.
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 
  • Zoomer44Zoomer44 Posts: 2,902

    Thanks for the link figrat...thinks... will  be putting capillary matting in the bottom of the propagator this year, I have a problems with the compost drying out image

  • hollie hockhollie hock Posts: 3,289

    I start the vast majority of my seeds in a propagator on my kitchen window sill. I usually move them out to my coldframes and like Lyn says when I pot them on I bury the stems quite deep into the soil. I'm experimenting this year with having a light over them as well.

    Thanks for the advice and link re the tinfoil, might give that a go as well

  • seedlings must have poor soil to grow and the right heat.I suspect you planted them in a rich soil with too much soil,that's whats to mine when I do that or over water.

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