Saturday 5 May 2012

Diagnosis Murder

Don't you just panic when you see signs like these:

Cucumber seedling with yellow edges

Yellowing leaves!!! What does that mean? Too much water,  too little water, not enough light, too much light too suddenly, lack of nutrients (magnesium deficiency?) . It's murder making up your mind. Thank goodness it's only the first two leaves (cotyledons) and the true leaves are coming in.  I think on reflection it's cold that has caused this in my cucumber seedlings, but that is one factor not referred to in any of the books I consulted.

And thank goodness the courgettes seem to be a bit more robust:

Courgette Seedlings


  1. Same thing has happened to my cucumbers. Maybe its just the cotyledons becoming exhausted as the real leaves kick in. I tend to nip them off before they start rotting. I keep mine in an unheated greenhouse during the day, but bring them in during the night. Forecast is cold for this weekend. Can't wait for this cold and wet snap to end!

  2. Still waiting for my courgettes to germinate. My first reaction these days is to think that there's something wrong with the compost. At least we can blame everything on the cold weather this year.

  3. As Martyn said we don't trust compost at the moment as we have had lots of seedlings in the past get off to a good start and run out of steam as the few nutrients in the soil have been used up! Even different bags of the same compost perform differently. Then again it has been unseasonably cold. Is it just the cucumbers or are other types of seedlings suffering

  4. Peter, I'm following the same regimen as you. And as for the weather we've just had a hail shower!

    Martyn. I sowed some Lobelia weeks ago and left them in the outside (plastic) "greenhouse". Having given up on them they have sprouted recently, presumably triggered by the daytime greenhouse effect and despite the night time temperatures. It's been a really nice surprise (not being a flower person myself).

    Sue. With confidence shaken by the contaminated manure episode it is difficult to restore trust. It's just the cucumber. In the past I've had my cucurbit leaves reduced to paper when I took them from the shade to the outdoors so I am making a special effort this year to get them acclimatised to sunlight early on in their life. But it's hard work relaying them in and out of the house.

    1. It's not really linked to the manure problem Mal. Lots of people are experiencing problems with compost since they have started trying to exclude peat. With some compost it's the texture that is a problem and some just run out of nutrients die to the composition. have you watched beechgrove Gardens trials? Of course one issue is the use of Green Council Waste which contains all sorts of things and could include weedkiller. Last year we had tomatoes growing in identical grow bags. Most grew fine but in one bag the plants were pathetic. The bag was the only difference

  5. I had this happen with one of my pumpkin it has grown huge and is very proud of itself!!

    I have sjust resown cucmber and courgettes as they didn't germinate at all so yellow edges or not your still ahead of me...however I have had 9 celeriac germinate this year....I'm quite proud of them!!