Red Sprouts?

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So, I'm a newb and I was super successful in getting these wee babs to sprout. I moved most of them outside so they could get some sunshine - my bedroom is northish facing, but stays predominantly in the shade because of the awkward shape of our house. So it's pretty dang dark.

Now for the problem. I think there's a fungus amongus. The soil isn't too wet - I'm an idiot and trying to bonsai in the desert - but it isn't too dry. I check moisture in the morning by sticking a finger into the dirt, and wind up watering the sprouties maybe once every 2 or 3 days depending on the wind. It is kinda dry up top so I should probably consider topsoil, but their roots are a bit deeper than I test with my finger. The red trunks drove me to check their roots - all nice and white.
I do have one poor lad who seemed to have a pinched base - so I started panicking that I was going to lose my babies to damping, but... it's been a week and everybody still looks pretty healthy other than looking like a lobster. I supported the floppy boi by mounding some of the soil a little further up and he seems to be perking up a lot.
Nevada is pretty damn sunny and we've had a lot of wind. I think the floppy boi might have just gotten pinched trying to fight off the wind storm? Do they have sunburns?
Do you guys know what might be going on?
 

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MaciekA

Mame
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As far as the pictures go, I don't really see any issues with the visual appearance of the seedlings -- things look good. The only concern I would have is the very large fabric pots you're using combined with predominantly bark soil (also, pic #1 looks like a slip potting, w/ a dense interior surrounded by sparse bark chips -- keep your eye on differences in drainage between those two, the roots may be hesitant to cross the barrier between the two regions).

You will eventually wrestle with the challenge of having grown lanky roots into a comparatively large mass of bark, and wanting to transition these fully into pumice/lava/etc. It gets harder and harder to bare root pine seedlings as time goes on, so next year, somewhat early before sun/heat starts to build, you may want to think about eating that transition risk earlier rather than later, and addressing any root structure issues you find (tap root, lanky roots, etc) at that time.

But your Nevada sun/humidity conditions should in theory give you good growth this year to tee up that transition.

Regarding this:

It is kinda dry up top so I should probably consider topsoil

I wouldn't succumb to this temptation when growing pine (regardless of substrate, but especially in organic substrate in a grow bag that's very large compared to the seedling). To gain confidence / train your intuition for this particular grow setup / local conditions, give the chopstick moisture dipstick method a try -- drive takeout chopsticks deep into the pots permanently, and occasionally take a look to see what the moisture gradient looks like. You'll be surprised at how long an organic mass of bark can hold moisture deeper within the grow bag, but it will also help you control how frequently you water. The less you inundate the pot with water and allow the pine roots to breathe air a bit before getting moisture again, the easier it will be to prevent the pot size / media type from overwhelming the young seedlings (which cannot yet draw that much water).
 

sorce

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You know I was listening to a Mycorrhizae talk today.....

Got to thinking about how they say the aquafers are dry and those pictures they keep showing of the glaciers receding.....

If we ain't underwater yet, for F sake we never bloody will be!

I got to wondering how much water is stored in the pipes of new construction, we're probably storing enough water above ground to never bloody flood.

Anyway, I'm tired of their friggin lies.

Welcome to Crazy!

They look fine, you're going to experience some oddities with the move outside. Leave em there!

Sorce
 
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As far as the pictures go, I don't really see any issues with the visual appearance of the seedlings -- things look good. The only concern I would have is the very large fabric pots you're using combined with predominantly bark soil (also, pic #1 looks like a slip potting, w/ a dense interior surrounded by sparse bark chips -- keep your eye on differences in drainage between those two, the roots may be hesitant to cross the barrier between the two regions).

You will eventually wrestle with the challenge of having grown lanky roots into a comparatively large mass of bark, and wanting to transition these fully into pumice/lava/etc. It gets harder and harder to bare root pine seedlings as time goes on, so next year, somewhat early before sun/heat starts to build, you may want to think about eating that transition risk earlier rather than later, and addressing any root structure issues you find (tap root, lanky roots, etc) at that time.

But your Nevada sun/humidity conditions should in theory give you good growth this year to tee up that transition.

Regarding this:



I wouldn't succumb to this temptation when growing pine (regardless of substrate, but especially in organic substrate in a grow bag that's very large compared to the seedling). To gain confidence / train your intuition for this particular grow setup / local conditions, give the chopstick moisture dipstick method a try -- drive takeout chopsticks deep into the pots permanently, and occasionally take a look to see what the moisture gradient looks like. You'll be surprised at how long an organic mass of bark can hold moisture deeper within the grow bag, but it will also help you control how frequently you water. The less you inundate the pot with water and allow the pine roots to breathe air a bit before getting moisture again, the easier it will be to prevent the pot size / media type from overwhelming the young seedlings (which cannot yet draw that much water).

Thank you so much for all of your information! I moved them to the larger pots in hopes to help them develop under the advisement of a number of youtube videos, so that they might develop hearty trunks and get a lot of nice branching. I totally acknowledge that I went too big too early, but the bark chips are going to pose an issue for them, too?
They're in a largely organic soil mixed with some "river sand" filler to try and prevent the soil from retaining too much water. Given the dry conditions, I wasn't sure how well they'd perform in just the pumice/lava and wanted to make sure they could get plenty of water until I knew what to expect. Do you think they'll be okay for the rest of the growing season? I don't want to stress them out too much since I've already been poking and prodding them a little more than I should have.

I'll definitely get some chopsticks and follow your advice there. That will be hugely helpful for getting a better barometer for how much moisture is present and available for them! Thank you very much!

The red is a normal progression for pines and other conifers.

Thank you very much for the reassurance! I was seeing older sprouties who were still quite a bit more green and it had me worried!

You know I was listening to a Mycorrhizae talk today.....

Got to thinking about how they say the aquafers are dry and those pictures they keep showing of the glaciers receding.....

If we ain't underwater yet, for F sake we never bloody will be!

I got to wondering how much water is stored in the pipes of new construction, we're probably storing enough water above ground to never bloody flood.

Anyway, I'm tired of their friggin lies.

Welcome to Crazy!

They look fine, you're going to experience some oddities with the move outside. Leave em there!

Sorce

Thank you for the warm welcome! Will do! They're a lot happier outside than they were under the grow light, that's for sure!
 

Shibui

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Stem change to red in pine seedlings is absolutely normal.
All trees can suffer sunburn but it does not show as red skin like we do. Sunburn in plants makes leaves turn brown but pines are among the hardiest so full sun is best.

The floppy one may just be that it has only grown lateral roots on one side of the trunk. Occasionally seedlings grow poor roots. Subsequent root pruning may help but, as in all living species, some individual seedlings just seem to be not so good so need to allow for occasional failures.
 

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