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why do my seedlings always seem to bolt . They look sickly and spindly

United Kingdom Gb

Most seedlings bolt and appear sickly. I have just recently sown sweet peas but the same problem. They are in seed trays on the window sill of a very cool utility room. I have bought quite a few packets of various seeds so would like to know where I am going wrong before sowing any more.



They usually overstretch when there is a lack of natural light in my experience.

2 Mar, 2009


Rydeboyz is spot on, they are trying to get to the light. try turning the tray every other day so they grow straight.
if you are in the north start your seed off a couple of weeks later than suggested as you wont be able to plant them out until late may/june due to frosts. (not true for all plants though.) if the pack says feb/march do it last 2 weeks of march etc.

sweet peas are very tall 3-4" before leaves fully develop and look like proper leaves so dont worry too much yet.
hope this helps.

2 Mar, 2009


i have often had this happen because I have been too eager and sown the seed at earliest possible date. The days lengthen faster now so it is good time to sow.

2 Mar, 2009


You should cut them down to 3 or 4 leaf joints ( the sweet peas) if you've grown them too early. They will bush out and be better plants.Keep feeding them a little bit too so they don't stagnate. It is tempting to sow lots too soon if the sun shines but then the windowsills fill up......How about a cold frame?

5 Mar, 2009

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