I use a rich compost, but the seedlings grow so rapidly that the sprout is thin and withers and dies. Am I using too much rich soil?
Seedlings don't need any fertilizer until they have their first set of true leaves so you should use a soilless seed starting mix for your seeds. The compost is too strong.
You probably have two problems going on with your seedlings as they emerge from the soil. What you describe could be damping off disease, which is caused by soil that is too wet. That's why a mix made to start seeds is better. You can try sprinkling sand around the base of your plants to keep the stems dry. A fungus that rots the stem at the soil line causes damping off.
Never water your seedlings from the top. Always water them by pouring water into a tray underneath them and letting them soak it up.
Also, to get strong stems on your plants, you should grow them under high-quality grow lights.
Once your seedlings are up and growing, then transplant them to a good soil mix but it should not contain more than a third of strong compost. Straight compost is usually too rich for growing. Use compost just like any fertilizer, as an amendment to the soil.
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By Kate Karam, Monrovia,
Photographs courtesy of Monrovia
It’s not only coastal gardens that have to deal with persistent winds – inland gardens at higher altitudes and those in flat, wind-prone areas get regularly battered, too. Since there’s nothing good about plants stripped of their foliage or rendered dry and desiccated by a gale force tempest, the solution might be as simple as using specimens that are just fine with it. Here are a few we recommend. But first, some advice.
Join fellow garden lovers, history buffs and music enthusiasts to discover the quaint towns and colorful gardens of Holland and Belgium in May of 2018.
This exciting journey will be hosted by nationally known host Eric Johnson, of Public Television's blockbuster show GardenSmart. Your river cruise begins in Amsterdam where you'll see works by Rembrandt and Van Gogh, Anne Frank's House, and see the city's most famous gardens. Then spend a full morning on the grounds of the most beautiful spring garden in the world-Keukenhof! Visit the picturesque Belgian towns of Bruges and Ghent as well as Kinderdijk, with the Netherlands' iconic collection of 19 authentic windmills that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In addition, history buffs will experience a captivating tour of the WWI trenches of Flanders and WWII Arnhem Battlefield of A Bridge Too Far fame. You won't want to miss this extraordinary garden adventure to Holland and Belgium.
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