How to Prevent Leggy Seedlings

Give your shaggy seedlings a well-deserved trim and watch them flourish

Q: How can I ensure the seedlings I grow inside for my garden aren’t too leggy and flopping over?

There are three easy-to-correct reasons for leggy seedlings:

  1. Air temperature is too high. Warm temperatures are ideal for germination, but to sustain top growth, 20 C (68 F) or so would be excessive. Try dropping the room temperature a few degrees after the seeds sprout.
  2. Poor light quality. On dull days or when the only light source is a window, consider supplemental light, but make sure the bulbs are suitable for plant use. Grow lights offer a broader light spectrum and less heat than traditional light bulbs.
  3. Improper watering and feeding. Water and fertilize seedlings according to their particular needs. Avoid extreme conditions, such as excessive feeding under poor light.
    1. Lastly, I would also recommend you ensure that there is good circulation around your seedlings for optimum health. Good luck with this year’s veggie garden!

      Originally published in BC Home & Garden magazine. For regular updates, subscribe to our free Home and Garden e-newsletters, or purchase a subscription to the magazine.