The Chervil Is Growing Up

The chervil seedlings that I started from seed in November are finally big enough (I hope) to be put outside.

After several days (weeks really!) of very nasty weather – very cold and very wet, snow and ice then buckets of rain – it was finally sunny today. It went outside and it felt like spring was coming!

I’m putting the chervil just outside the window on the porch, so it’s still relatively protected during the day and I’m taking it in at night just for the first few nights to let it adjust to the cold slowly.

The larger pot was the first pot I started. I used heavier garden soil, which in retrospect wasn’t a good idea. The smaller pot is a mix of seed starting soil and potting soil, which seems to have produced much better results.

One thing that I’ve notice with this chervil that has been a problem with nearly all of my seedlings is the weak stems!

Do you see how each plant has one small, weak, bent stem erupting from the soil that then branches off to produce a strong plant? What is up with that?? It seems kind of like damping off, but it’s not because the plant doesn’t die. I haven’t been able to find any insight into this problem on the internet.

On helpfulgardner.com, someone posted in a forum about the exact same thing happening with their broccoli. Some people replied saying it was damping off, but others pointed out that it’s not damping off because the plant doesn’t die (it damps, but it doesn’t off? Is that possible?) One suggestion was that there was “too much tender growth too fast – which is typically too much heat and/or too much fertilizer coupled with not enough light.”

My chervil plants were directly under an LED grow light, the heat mat was only on for the first couple of days, before the seedlings had even poked their heads above the surface, and I didn’t give them any fertilizer until after I noticed this problem happening, thinking it might help.

So I have no clue. It happened with most (if not all) of my seedlings last year, and I suspect I will see it happening a lot in the coming season. Perhaps it has to do with water? Too much or too little or too inconsistent? I am going to be on top of seedling care this spring! No more weak stems!

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