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My poor leggy lettuce leaves

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BallandChain
BallandChain Posts: 1,922 Forumite
edited 14 May 2011 at 8:28PM in Gardening
Hi guys,

Me again! I'm growing mixed lettuce leaves in window planters. Now the seedlings have shot up but the stems are leggy, the leaves are not getting any bigger.

Have I sown too thickly? Not enough light? Do I need to thin seedlings?

I haven't used any fertilizer just watered and clean compost used.

Photo to follow....

lettucelegs.jpg

lettucelegs.jpg
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  • Lotus-eater
    Lotus-eater Posts: 10,789 Forumite
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    Have I sown too thickly? Not enough light? Do I need to thin seedlings?
    lettucelegs.jpg
    Yes, yes and you need to repot them. I think you can bury the stems on lettuce up to the leaves, so try that and give them more light, in fact harden them up straight away and put them outside.
    Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.
  • Kyrae
    Kyrae Posts: 541 Forumite
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    Wow those are very leggy!! Looks like not enough light to me! Mine have always grown a bit leggy, but not as leggy as yours, I've just tended to thin them out and then top up the compost so that the leaves are nearly level with the top of the soil and they've grown fine after that. No idea if thats the right thing to do though!!
  • BallandChain
    BallandChain Posts: 1,922 Forumite
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    Hi Lotus, I forgot to mention that I'm in a flat and growing them indoors! So, if I thin them out they'd have to go in deeper pots?
  • Lotus-eater
    Lotus-eater Posts: 10,789 Forumite
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    edited 14 May 2011 at 8:47PM
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    Hi Lotus, I forgot to mention that I'm in a flat and growing them indoors! So, if I thin them out they'd have to go in deeper pots?
    Yes. They need some space and light, shouldn't be that difficult to do, where they were germinated must have been a dark place?

    Edit, OK, I've just looked at the photo. Looks like cress. Way over the amount of seed you needed. Like about a 10th of the entire lot you've sown. And that will still give you alot of lettuce.
    Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.
  • BallandChain
    BallandChain Posts: 1,922 Forumite
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    Thanks Kyrae. I was thinking the same thing as I read you do that with leggy tomato plants. Some info I read said you can eat the thinnings. Would they be ok to eat now and do you cut the root off? I'm just thinking with lack of space I can't see where else to put them if they aren't in window planters.
  • BallandChain
    BallandChain Posts: 1,922 Forumite
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    Lotus, I'm embarrassed to admit that though they are in window planters they have been sitting on the floor in the sitting room as I was worried about them getting scorched. The window gets a lot of sun late afternoon but I guess that's preferable to where they have been! Also, I had the planters covered with a lid (vent closed) when germinating but they were on the floor by the balcony doors. I say it's a balcony but it has limited space and it's just railings going round the doors.
  • BallandChain
    BallandChain Posts: 1,922 Forumite
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    Yes it looks like cress but it is a salad mixed lettuce leaf combo. I think I overdid the sowing, lol.

    I did sow the whole packet in three sections of the planter. The worst thing is I have two more planters on the go too. Yikes!
  • wallbash
    wallbash Posts: 17,775 Forumite
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    I did sow the whole packet in three sections of the planter

    Wonder how many seeds ? guessing a couple of hundred!
  • BallandChain
    BallandChain Posts: 1,922 Forumite
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    I just checked the packets and one pack has 550 seeds, the other has 1000 seeds. The other pack is just germinating and it looks like I've ripped off the bit of the top of the pack with how many seeds were in there so guessing that's around 500.:eek:
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