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PostPosted: Aug 19th, '18, 00:24 
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Hello all, so I have been trying to germinate some lettuce seeds in some sponge germination cubes three times and they keep dying after about a week after they sprout.

Basically I am using those plastic germination trays to hold the sponge and help drain them. I placed them under T5 lights (about 4 inches above) for a light source. I spray them with some fertilizer water every morning. It takes about 10 days for them to sprout, they look okay when they do, but about 4 days or so of them sprouting, they wilt and die. I can't figure out what I am doing wrong.

Does anyone have any clue what is going on? Or what I might be doing wrong?

Thanks for anyone's input.


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PostPosted: Aug 19th, '18, 00:53 
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If they are falling over and look like they died by having the stem collapse after being collared at ground level then it's probably because of damping off (which is caused by a fungus). I would skip or at least keep the spray with fertilizer to a minimum and try to keep them a bit drier. You could also try warming up the growing environment but then you might need the extra moisture.


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PostPosted: Aug 19th, '18, 14:18 
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scotty435 wrote:
If they are falling over and look like they died by having the stem collapse after being collared at ground level then it's probably because of damping off (which is caused by a fungus). I would skip or at least keep the spray with fertilizer to a minimum and try to keep them a bit drier. You could also try warming up the growing environment but then you might need the extra moisture.


Thanks for the reply.

How dry should I let the sponge get? Should I consider watering one day yes and one day no? Whenever I go to water them every morning, the sponges aren't soaking wet, but definitely wet. I mean if I put a dry tissue on top, it gets damp within a few seconds. Does that seem normal?


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PostPosted: Aug 21st, '18, 22:59 
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Hi,

Nitrogen is promoting this kind of fungal disease. Forget about the fertilizer before the seedlings germinate and even a few days after the germinate. Seedlings don't need fertilizer at first because every needed nutrients are contained in the seed.
You could do the first watering with a diluted fungicide which should help a lot.

Hope that helps

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PostPosted: Aug 22nd, '18, 06:41 
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As long as the cube has enough moisture that the seedlings roots can get to it then you should be OK. What you don't want is much moisture at the surface held in the cube next to the stem.

+1 to SebZ comment - Lettuce seeds are pretty tiny but I'd let them get started on their own and give them fertilizer only after they've been up a few days. There might be something in Dasboot's thread on using cubes and how he fertilizes them or you could PM him.

Regarding the nitrogen comment - Excess nitrogen can cause soft growth that's easier for a fungus to attack.


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