It’s expensive to throw away perfectly healthy seedlings. Rather keep them in limbo until you can plant them.
Don’t be too hasty to throw away old seedlings. Old seedlings are often discarded due to the belief that much of the yield potential is lost. There is some validity to this, but in our experience the damage is usually less than expected.
Kept in limbo
Seedling nurseries often find that, due to poor weather or some other circumstance, a client cannot take delivery of an order at the designated time. These plants are often then discarded. However, if they are deprived of nitrogen, they can be kept in limbo, as they don’t grow out too large in the seedling trays.
As soon as they are ready to be planted, they can be given a dose of LAN (one closed handful in a watering can applied to about 2 000 seedlings). To illustrate this, take a tray of hardened cauliflower plants and applied the nitrogen to half the plants. The results are clear after nine days.
If there is to be any setback with old seedlings, it usually occurs in very early-maturing varieties.
That’s all there is to it. In difficult times, simply withhold nitrogen to keep the plants in limbo. Then stimulate them with LAN before they leave the nursery. If they are already in an active growing state and need to be stopped, flush the nitrate out of the trays with a drenching irrigation.
Seedlings are expensive. Why waste good money by discarding them when it’s unnecessary?