Gardening

Suffering seedlings


Question: scorched leaves


Hi, I have recently sprouted apple and pear seeds. Once sprouted, I planted them in pots made of peat mixed with compost and earth made by me. I'm noticing that on three shoots, one is growing well, with 4 pairs of beautiful broad leaves and bright greens. The other two have 2 or 3 stunted leaflets with brown spots and seemingly slightly burnt on the edges. What can the problem be?

Suffering seedlings: Answer: scorched leaves


Dear Alessandro,
small plants can be ruined by a long series of diseases or they can be damaged also due to poor cultivation conditions; the problem afflicts above all the seedlings, because in order to make the seeds germinate a soil is used that must remain wet for a long time, which favors the development of fungi and molds, which wait for the growth of the seedlings to move on their leaves or between their roots . For this reason it is usually used clean soil, that is just removed from the bags of the nursery, since those who produce compost and soil before selling it completely disinfect it (often with a passage in autoclave, or with other methods), in addition to this , the seeds you buy in the nursery are treated with a fungicide, and if instead you decide to sow seeds taken in the wild you will have to sprinkle them with a broad spectrum fungicide (for example a cupric product) before sowing. So in your description we read seeds taken from the most fertile fruit mixed by you: the result may contain a mixture of fungi, molds and bacteria, which had to be prevented before you sowed and which could have given rise to the problems that are now encountered on your seedlings . Given that they are in pots, a systemic fungicide, to be used by foliar application or to be added to the water of the waterings, should solve the problem at the root. If this is the case: spring 2013 is so cold and humid that your plants could simply suffer because of the climate, definitely not suited to the tiny newly sprouted plants; in this case, try to place them in a place more sheltered from the wind, so that they can develop as would occur in nature, during a "normal" spring, ie with a cool and damp climate, not cold and soaked in water. Or maybe your plants are too exposed to the sun, or not very exposed: when sowing trees, it's good to keep the seedbed in a bright area, but without excessive amounts of direct sunlight, which could literally burn the young foliage as soon as developed. Or maybe you are watering the ground too much, favoring the development of fungal diseases and other problems, if you know keeping the soil always very impregnated with water, try to thin out the watering a little, supplying water only when the soil is dry. It could be one of these problems, or even all of them.