Growing seedlings can be a very curious thing. Sometimes you can plant seeds from the same packet, in the same dirt and one plant grows beautifully and the other is a “runt.” There is just no explanation for this except that the small seedling isn’t as robust as the others.
Growing Seedlings That Just Don’t Grow so Well
The picture here shows 3 tomato plants from the same batch of seeds, planted at the same time in the same dirt. One is beautiful, one is OK and the other has problems. It is really just unbelievable that these seedlings grow so differently. Several times I have nurtured a “runt” seedling that just doesn’t grow as well as the rest of the seeds. And it has never worked out well.
A runt is defined as the smallest animal in a litter. Often people fall in love with the runt, as in a litter of puppies. And the runt of the litter can grow into a wonderful pet.
I thought if I give this small plant extra care and attention it will catch up. I have done this a few times with cucumbers and tomatoes and the ones I experimented with never catch up. It has always turned out to be a big waste of time! Learn from my experiences and when you are growing seedlings, choose the best ones and don’t feel sorry for the smaller ones. Now I go based on survival of the fittest and use my best seedlings. I have just wasted too much time with runt seedlings. It might seem hard but now the runts go into the compost pile.