Garden Update | Stunted Seedlings & Reemerging Perennials

By Kiersten | Last Updated: April 3, 2012

Catmint April 1

Stunted SeedlingsI almost decided not to post a garden update this week because I’m so bummed about my seedlings. They all seem to have stopped growing after about two weeks, and now they’re turning yellow and losing leaves too. After doing some research, I’ve concluded that the problem was probably over-watering. I’m killing my plants with kindness! I slowed down with the watering, but they didn’t look any better, so I transplanted all of the stunted seedlings this weekend either into the garden or into bigger containers. I’m not too optimistic, but we’ll see what happens.

Peas (April 1)The plants I have in the screened porch are doing better than the ones I had inside and the ones that are outside. (Maybe I just need to do all my gardening in there?) The bok choy is getting eaten by something, but the peas are looking good. I’m not quite sure why I even bought these seeds, though, since I really don’t care for peas and neither does my husband. Oh well!

Parsley (April 1)The parsley is a holdover from last year. I planted this last June and I didn’t water it from October to about a week ago and it just keeps on truckin’. The spots on the leaves are pollen–it’s pollen season here and everything on the porch is covered in it.

Catmint (April 1)I was really worried about all of the perennials because I didn’t cut them down before winter and just last month, they all appeared to be dead. I cut the dead growth from them a few weeks ago and hoped for the best and now all but one of them is growing like crazy. The catmint went from completely brown and dried up to this in about two weeks.

Clematis (April 1)I cut several feet of dead growth off the clematis and it’s replaced that with new growth and then some. It grew so much that I had to replace the old trellis with a new, taller one this weekend.

Lavender (April 1)The lavender is starting to send up little shoots–I guess this is where the flowers grow? I don’t know, I’ve never grown lavender! I’m hoping I can save some of the flowers for soap making.

Have you ever had issues with over-watering your seedlings? Were you able to get them to recover or did they end up dying?

About Kiersten

Kiersten is the founder and editor of Oh My Veggies.

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I thought that you could eat them like sugar snap peas. And maybe you can! But then when they came in the mail, I realized that they’re the kind you’re supposed to shell. Oops. But I’m going to try to pick them early so we can eat them whole…

I am so impressed – I have never been brave enough to start seeds. But, I bought some this year! Now, just need to grab some cute containers and plant them! I am going to have a garden this year, too. Hopefully, you’ll keep posting and I can learn a thing or two!

I think we are all just too excited about our plants. I had blooms fall off my peppers due to too much water. I decided to let the containers dry up a bit and now they look better.

You already have blooms on your peppers?! Wow, you are way ahead of me! Mine are still about an inch tall. 🙁 I’m thinking about cheating and buying some plants from the farmers market this weekend!

My plants/seedlings do better in the breezeway than inside the house. I don’t know why, but I am guessing it might have something to do with the afternoon sun. My cabbage seedlings grew, then slowed down, and started yellowing. I am most excited about the cabbage, so I hope that they recover.

I planted Lavender last year and mine has started growing also. Yes, the shoots are the flower buds. If you want to save them, it is best to pull the flowers off before they bloom to retain the most oils.

What happened with your cabbage is exactly what happened to most of my seedlings. It’s so frustrating! The ones I transplanted to bigger containers seem to be doing better so far (fingers crossed), so maybe you should try that! The farmers market has a vendor who sells heirloom eggplant, tomato, and pepper transplants, so I figure worst case scenario, I can buy some from him.

Thanks for the tip about the lavender. 🙂

I’ve never grown little seedlings, so I can’t be of help there, but I’ve had lavender. I don’t know how it works, but the blossoms just kind of appear! And it grows like crazy! You’ll be able to split it off and add more plants easily!

Yes, I think the lavender could be split off already–it’s definitely spreading! It’s so funny, because I never water or fertilize the perennials and they’re fine, and I totally baby the veggies & they’re a disaster. Maybe I should start neglecting them too.

It could be too much water, but it could also be too little food. Seeds don’t really need much in the way of fertilizer to germinate, as they have their own store of food, but once they’ve germinated and made leaves, they are going to need at least a little bit. Try a few pinches of some organic fertilizer with a moderate concentration of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium (the NPK rating you see on the fertilizer package). Just like you don’t want to over water, you don’t want to over fertilize!

Thanks for the advice–I need it! 😉 I’ve given them a little organic fertilizer (right after the first true leaves formed), but I think maybe I gave them too little. I’m always afraid of overdoing it! They looked like they were doing better for a while, but when I checked on them this morning, some of the leaves on them were almost white. I guess I’m going to have to buy some transplants from the farmers market this weekend…

Hi Ohkeeka,

Cutting perennials back during the winter doesn’t help them re-grow, it’s just done for cosmetic reasons. I prefer to do it late to provide overwintering spots for wildlife. For growing from seed, lately I tend to go more for the annuals that I can seed diirectly outside in late fall or early spring and let nature take care of them. Right now I have a thick carpet of cerinthe major in part of my garden– a cool annual that people always ask about– that self-seeded from past years. I belatedly threw some new calendula seed out there just the other day because the calendula volunteers were few and far between.

Thanks for the info! I am completely new to perennials and I’m pretty clueless–I bought a book about perennial gardening, but I’ve only skimmed it. (Reading it might help, huh?) The only perennials I’ve tried growing from seed are herbs and strawberries–everything else I’m growing are vegetables. I don’t know why my veggie seedlings are struggling so much this year, but it’s the first year I’ve tried starting them indoors (under a grow light), so I suspect that has something to do with it.

I just Googled cerinthe major–beautiful!

Me too. Even now, I know I overwater, but it still seems like they dry out & need water everyday. I’m afraid that if I don’t water them, they’ll die! But when I water them this much, they still die! I can’t win. ;(

I am most disappointed with all my seedlings started indoors. I think it may be the last time I go that route. I did not have issues over watering (in fact kept them really saturated) but they aren’t doing so well after the garden transfer. Everything i directly sewed is rocking. I love to see your garden update!!

I think I’ll keep starting the crucifers inside because they need to be started so early and they didn’t do too badly, but the tomatoes, peppers and eggplant I don’t know about. 🙁 So sad! Did you harden yours off for a few days? I think that helped with some of mine, but not others.

i am experimenting with lavender seeds ( vera and english lavenders). Initially i tried in indoor with a light.
after 2 months small lavender tree with 2 leaves emerges. Due to over watering all most all died. I tried next
batch , and i replanted them in a small container with gravel and applied little water ( weekly twice) with sprayer and moved the container out , but not in direct sun but with sufficient light. Now it appears 3rd and forth leaves and i hope this will grown well after 4 to 5 months. This is the first time i am trying to grow lavender from seeds.


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