Can Moringa Seedlings Get Sunburnt?

Hi everyone! I hope you had a great Easter weekend. I had a great weekend, but my Moringa, not so much. I had been festively dyeing Easter eggs while my Moringa were hardening off in direct sunlight. It was the first hot day in a while, 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Perhaps I was a bit distracted, I accidentally left the seedlings in the sun for about 4 hours. I initially intended for them to just get about 30 minutes of sunlight.

Because my trees are still seedings, that amount of sun was too much for them. They started to wilt, so I moved them into a space where there is no direct sunlight. Right now, they are still green, not brown and dry. I’ll be leaving the seedlings in this shady space for a week to let them recover.

Otherwise, the seedlings are doing great. Of the first planting, the tallest seedling is 4" tall and it is starting to show a the second set of true leaves. The tallest of the second planting is 3" tall but has yet to show the second set of true leaves. The tallest of the third planting is 4" tall even though the first set of leaves are still spreading. The reason why it is so tall is that the stem is really long.

The “Last Frost Date” is nearing. For my area, the last “Ground Frost” date is April 15th. Be sure to know your Last Frost Date before you plant your seedlings in the ground. If you’re off to a late start, you can get 10 Free Moringa Seedlings with the purchase of the Moringa Starter Box. Or purchase the Seedlings on their own. I like the starter box right now, so I can try out and share the Moringa products with my friends and family.

Soon, I’ll have an outdoor planting space to transplant my seedlings to. Next to my backyard shed, there is a space that is about 4 ft by 10 ft. This space is in the Northwest corner of my backyard. Because my backyard is pretty much sand, I plan to dig about a foot down into the ground to fill it with soil. The soil will be a mixture of general raised bed gardening soil and compost. I’ll probably have the two mixed in a 50:50 ratio.

How will over 20 Moringa fit in a 4 ft x 10 ft space? I will be be growing them using "intensive gardening" practices which I will explain in a later blog post. The moral of the story right now is that it is possible for those of us who can only grow Moringa as an annual to produce a lot of Moringa greens by starting a lot of seedlings.

When I actually transplant the seedlings, I’ll be feeding them with a low concentrate fertilizer. Let me try to give a mini crash course in fertilizer and concentrate levels via this blog post. There are three bolded numbers on every container of fertilizer, “X - X - X”, sometimes called “NPK”. The first number represents the Nitrogen (N) content, it helps with leaf production. The second represents Phosphorus (P), which helps with root development. The third is Potassium (K) for flower, fruit, or seed development.

The fertilizer I am using is in a liquid form. The nutrient content is 0.5-0-0. This means that there is 0.5% of Nitrogen. The two zeros mean that there is not any Phosphorus or Potassium in this blend. The particular blend is especially good for transplanting seedlings or older plants, it even reduces the chances of shock from the transplanting process. The timing of when I would fertilize is either when I transplant the sprouts or when the second set of true leaves starts to show.

Well, I have a lot of work to do to prepare the garden plot and hopefully my Moringa seedlings will recover from their sunburn. What trauma have your plants been through? Share your stories with us! I know I'm not the first to leave seedlings outside for too long. How about bugs? Underwatering? Overwatering? So much to learn!

Until next time,

~ Theresa

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