Ireland-based Newbie anxious about black spots on salad greens

Hi all,
SG3 newbie here, based in the West of Ireland. Just started growing my first plants: red kale, romaine lettuce and green sorrel. Attached photos.
Noticed black spots on couple leaves on my lettuce. Not many insects here (as far as I know), and my flat is a good home, not damp or cold (despite the Irish climate). I read somewhere that black spots are caused by pests, so my questions to you, dear experts are:

  • Do you think this is due to pests, or something else?
  • How can I treat this? I am pro-organic and permaculture so I want this baby garden to be chemical/pesticide free
  • How to make sure it does not happen again, and how to make sure it does not affect the other plants?
  • I also see white fluffy stuff (sorry don’t know what that is) on the soil and around bits of seeds in the soil - is that a problem?

Couple of leaves on my sorrel have burnt tips but I think these were the ones touching the dome when sprouting. The sorrel does not look as green as the other two … hope she’s okay :slight_smile:

Any other advice welcome, and best wishes to all.

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Hi @Morgaen , welcome to the community!

It’s great to see that we have growers in Ireland :blush:

Your plants look really healthy and I would not do anything atm. Of course, it makes sense to monitor how they continue to grow. Some leaves have a tiny bit of brown edges, but this indeed might be due to the dome. If cotyledons have some browning on them, it is ok, first leaves may die back, and this is normal. Raise the lamp and keep the u-shape lids on.
For monitoring the pods, I would recommend getting the app, register your garden, and add your plants to it. You can change the “start date” of the plant once you are adding the plants, then you’ll see the accurate age of the plants and app will provide you timed tips. This way you know when to harvest your plants when they are at their best!

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Many thanks for your advice, Mirjam.
I think the lettuce and red kale are doing great, but my poor sorrel doesn’t seem to be doing that well :anguished: It looks as if some cat had slept on it! (but I don’t have a cat)
Hope you can see the attached pic. Any advice welcome.

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Dear @Morgaen , thanks for keeping us posted!

It’s probably so because Kale and Romaine Lettuce are possibly taking some light away from it as you are using two lamp extensions now? But overall it looks ok, as the lamp is high, it might happen that some plants grow a bit limpy and leaves tend to fall over.
For growing greens in a smart garden 3, use just one lamp extension, so the plants would grow stronger stems and would not try to reach the light and grow leggy at the same time.
Other than that they seem quite harvest-ready!

Thank you Mirjam.
Actually I’ve only used one arm extension so far. I was hoping the leaves would grow larger.
Next time I’ll try place the sorrel in a different place.

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Yes, all plants can be grown with just one lamp arm or pair in a smart garden, if plant care or harvesting is done in time.
Sometimes they just tend to compete and some that are slow to sprout may be left in a shade of others.

I hope you had a good harvest!

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Hi Mirjam,

Thanks, my sorrel and romaine tasted lovely though remained very small.
I’ve a new issue. I’ve started a new set, but as you will see from the pic, my Romaine doesn’t sprout (the other two are going well - sorrel and green lettuce)
Could you please advise me on this new issue?

Actually, I’ve now replaced that Romaine Lettuce pod on the left. It seems that there were no viable seedlings in the pod this time. There was something that looked like an open, broken seed so I think nothing would have come of that pod.

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Hi @Morgaen,

Sorry to hear that! So there were no seeds inside the pod at all? If there were seeds inside, they may need upto 3 weeks to sprout.

We have a policy that such faulty pods are replace for free. For that, please submit a ticket for the support and please also add a picture of the faulty pod.