Gardening Series #7 Growth Rates of Seedlings

When I started growing my own vegetable plants, I was told that they grow at different rates.  I learned that that is an understatement. Let me tell you what I learned about the growth rates of seedlings. Different grow rates means that seedlings may germinate in hours or it may take a whole month just to germinate, that much of a difference. Not understanding this truth in the beginning, I had dumped out planted potting soil after a few weeks, thinking the seeds weren’t viable as nothing came up. I had not understood those particular seeds needed weeks or maybe a month before germinating. Some seeds do the opposite and pop up within 48 hours and zoom to adulthood and I was also unknowing and unprepared. I did not have grow lights yet and the seedlings wilted while waiting for me to get to the store to buy lights. I know I mentioned growth rates in a previous post, here are a few pictures that demonstrate the widest variation.

Squash seedlings peeking

These are squash seedling only 48 hours after planting them.

Squash Seedlings 3

Here are the same squash seedlings at week old being transplanted into larger tubs.

Squash Seedlings 2

And here they are again a week later. Two weeks old and they are ready for hardening off outside.

Daisy Seedlings a month old

On the other hand, at the other extreme end of grow rates, are the daisy seedlings at a month old. They are now only barely a half inch tall but if you can see, they are very detailed for their size. These will only get to be at very most, a foot tall by summers end. They will be set outside in a nursery bed and winter over where next year, they will grow tall and multiply year after year.

The squash plants on the other hand, will grow into plants, food and feed us in the fall. Their whole life cycle over in six months.

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