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Seeds Outside in Cooler Weather?

Posted by adknorth 3 (My Page) on
Mon, Mar 22, 10 at 9:41

Hi Gardeners,

My seed starts are going nicely (after a rather nervous start - LOL). We had a week of super sunny weather, and now we're paying for it. It's dark. I'm using a South/Southwest facing window - lights aren't really an option, because it's so small in here. Starts were going beautifully, but now ... no sun. They're starting to get a little long-in-the-tooth for my taste. Did some reading, and I was wondering about the following potential fixes.

No second leaves yet - they're still young. Everything from cold hardy veg to warm veg and corn to flowers. Nothing is falling over yet. But they may be on their way - this is the third day of no sun.

1. We're in the high 30F to mid 40F range with this dark spell. Okay to put them outside daytime? I was thinking they'd get at least a little more light.

2. Keep them cooler? I read that they shouldn't be too warm, and the rate of growing might slow down if they're cooler. Maybe another reason to put them outside daytime?

3. If they continue to shoot up, what do you think of repotting to the first set of leaves? I've read conflicting things here on the forum about that. Some folks say you can re-pot anything up to the first leaves, others say only tomatoes and specific things.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Seeds Outside in Cooler Weather?

That is really too cold for seedlings. Isn't 30F below freezing? Growing on a windowsill is really not sufficient light to start seeds. They will get leggy and week searching for the light. Is there no way you can hang a simple plug in flourescent light fixture. Look through the forums some people have ingenious ways of doing this.

Yes tomatoes are about the only ones I know of who benifit from being planted deeper. Many others will die if treated that way.

If you want to put them outside you will have to use a cold frame, but that requires constant watching that it doesn't get too hot or too cold and your plants will need to be watered often.

I'd say for another year check out the winter gardening forum.

RE: Seeds Outside in Cooler Weather?


Thanks! LOL I should have thought of that! Cold frame is no problem. I have tons of 2x8s and old windows. I'll look it up and make one this afternoon or tomorrow.

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