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Author Topic: Growing thyme from seed  (Read 12058 times)
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« Topic Start: April 25, 2009, 11:11:12 pm »

Hi all,

I start all of my plants from seed and I've never had trouble getting them to grow, normally it's finding big enough pots that's the problem (I live in an apartment, so my garden is all potted). Recently I decided to grow thyme and while it sprouts, it dies every time it gets about two or three inches tall. Does anyone have any suggestions for this?

Thanks,
Scarabnight
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« Reply #1: April 26, 2009, 06:10:55 am »

I start all of my plants from seed and I've never had trouble getting them to grow, normally it's finding big enough pots that's the problem (I live in an apartment, so my garden is all potted). Recently I decided to grow thyme and while it sprouts, it dies every time it gets about two or three inches tall. Does anyone have any suggestions for this?

The most likely culprit is damping off, a condition where seedlings wither at or near the soil line and die.  It's caused by a number of things, but all are made worse by wet soil/lack of ventilation.  How are you growing these?  What kind of soil (sand, clay, potting mix)?  I grow Mediterranean herbs in very sandy soil fortified with a little compost, and grow from seed in a soiless seed starting mix.  Everything I grow under lights also gets "the fan treatment" for a couple hours per day.  Any fan will do, but I use a little PC muffin fan.  This not only helps with ventilation, but also keeps the stems stalking and robust.

Best o' luck to you, and let us know how it goes.

Brina
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« Reply #2: April 26, 2009, 08:37:57 pm »

The most likely culprit is damping off, a condition where seedlings wither at or near the soil line and die.  It's caused by a number of things, but all are made worse by wet soil/lack of ventilation.  How are you growing these?  What kind of soil (sand, clay, potting mix)?  I grow Mediterranean herbs in very sandy soil fortified with a little compost, and grow from seed in a soiless seed starting mix.  Everything I grow under lights also gets "the fan treatment" for a couple hours per day.  Any fan will do, but I use a little PC muffin fan.  This not only helps with ventilation, but also keeps the stems stalking and robust.

Best o' luck to you, and let us know how it goes.

Brina


Brina,

I've been using a layering technique with small rocks at the bottom of the pot, then sand, and then some soil at the top. I've tried keeping them inside and on my patio, but they still end up dying. How can I prevent this "damping off"?

Thanks,
Kelly
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« Reply #3: April 27, 2009, 12:46:02 pm »

I've been using a layering technique with small rocks at the bottom of the pot, then sand, and then some soil at the top. I've tried keeping them inside and on my patio, but they still end up dying. How can I prevent this "damping off"?

Try mixing the sand with just a little potting soil (like a 3-to-1 ratio), try better ventilation (the fan technique really works--you only need to run it a few hours a day).  Can you tell me a bit more about the growing situation?  You're starting these seeds outdoors, yes?  What are the temps like right now?  Light situation?  Humidity?

If all else fails, try a new source of seed.

Brina
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« Reply #4: April 27, 2009, 02:22:14 pm »



If all else fails, try a new source of seed.


Or try cuttings from someone who has an existing plant. Thyme grows very easily, and it is a lot easier to just break off a piece and put it in the soil.

Stardancer
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« Reply #5: April 28, 2009, 11:56:30 pm »

Can you tell me a bit more about the growing situation?  You're starting these seeds outdoors, yes?  What are the temps like right now?  Light situation?  Humidity?

Brina


I'll try it with the sand ratio you suggested. With the fan, would a ceiling fan be adequate? I've been starting my plants on the patio. It's covered, but not screened in. I live in Florida, so it's pretty much warm and humid all year round. Right now it's 87 degrees out with 75% humidity. The patio faces south but it gets really good light.

Scarabnight
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« Reply #6: April 29, 2009, 12:43:42 pm »

I'll try it with the sand ratio you suggested. With the fan, would a ceiling fan be adequate? I've been starting my plants on the patio. It's covered, but not screened in. I live in Florida, so it's pretty much warm and humid all year round. Right now it's 87 degrees out with 75% humidity. The patio faces south but it gets really good light.

Any ventilation is better than none, but something that blows directly on them is much more effective.  The key, though, is don't over-water.  Keep a close eye on those moisture levels after the seeds sprout.

You can also use stardancer's suggestion of growing from cuttings.  I admit I have a soft spot for seed-grown plants, though.  Something about the whole cradle-to-grave cycle.  I've got a few very old (like more than a decade old) perennials that I grew from seed and have moved from garden to garden over the years.  They're kinda like my "babies".  Wink

Brina
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« Reply #7: April 29, 2009, 06:08:27 pm »

I'll try it with the sand ratio you suggested. With the fan, would a ceiling fan be adequate? I've been starting my plants on the patio. It's covered, but not screened in. I live in Florida, so it's pretty much warm and humid all year round. Right now it's 87 degrees out with 75% humidity. The patio faces south but it gets really good light.
An e-quaintance of mine was petting her tomato seedlings this year - she's been ill this winter and wasn't organized enough to get the fans set up.

I have no idea whether that'll be useful for you (I'm not a gardener at all; my thumb is sere and withered), but I kept being reminded of her post while reading this thread, so I thought I'd throw it in.

Sunflower
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« Reply #8: April 29, 2009, 11:44:05 pm »

You can also use stardancer's suggestion of growing from cuttings.  I admit I have a soft spot for seed-grown plants, though.  Something about the whole cradle-to-grave cycle.  I've got a few very old (like more than a decade old) perennials that I grew from seed

Brina

I thought that I might have been over watering them, but the soil didn't appear to be moist the way it gets if my other plants get too much water. How often would you suggest watering the thyme seedlings?

I'm the same way with my plants, all of my plants have been raised by me from the seed. Smiley  I have a basil that just keeps on kicking, although its not quite to the decade level yet, it's only halfway there Smiley

Scarabnight
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« Reply #9: April 29, 2009, 11:48:20 pm »

Or try cuttings from someone who has an existing plant. Thyme grows very easily, and it is a lot easier to just break off a piece and put it in the soil.

Stardancer

I might be forced to do that if I can't get them to grow on my own. It's kinda sad though, all of my plants prior to this have been grown from seed.  Undecided

Thanks for the suggestion though Smiley
Scarabnight
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« Reply #10: April 29, 2009, 11:51:50 pm »

An e-quaintance of mine was petting her tomato seedlings this year - she's been ill this winter and wasn't organized enough to get the fans set up.

Sunflower

This Petting seems like it's a nice way to spend some time and connect with your plants. I think I'm going to try to work it in as a part of my daily down time. Smiley

Thanks,
Scarabnight 
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« Reply #11: April 30, 2009, 03:02:11 pm »


I might be forced to do that if I can't get them to grow on my own. It's kinda sad though, all of my plants prior to this have been grown from seed.  Undecided

Thanks for the suggestion though Smiley
Scarabnight
As someone else said, if you continue to have problems, go buy a different brand of seeds. I have real trouble growing thyme last year and my seeds came from a very reputable organic garden. My problem was I was trying to grow the creeping kind of thyme and my seeds for the wooded kind. I just happened to get a mislabled package. ::shrug::
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« Reply #12: May 01, 2009, 11:18:32 am »

As someone else said, if you continue to have problems, go buy a different brand of seeds. I have real trouble growing thyme last year and my seeds came from a very reputable organic garden. My problem was I was trying to grow the creeping kind of thyme and my seeds for the wooded kind. I just happened to get a mislabled package. ::shrug::

I'm going to try the current seeds one more time, but if they don't take, then I might have to do that.

Thanks,
Scarabnight
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