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Progress on my seedlings

Posted by organic_flutterby 5 MO (My Page) on
Wed, Mar 19, 14 at 13:04

I started my seeds on 21 Feb and they sprouted just fine.

I'm not sure when I should have put them in bigger pots or how big a pot I should put them in.

But today I put some of them in these pots that are about 2" square or so. Is that big enough to last until they go outside? Or will I have to transplant again.

Anyway, I think maybe I waited too long to transplant them. There were roots growing out of the netting and some of them broke off. And now, after transplanting they are very droopy looking. Did I damage the plants and will they recover?

And finally, I did not transplant all of the seedlings. I don't have anymore space under the light. So I left some of the ones that are going outside next week, onions and lettuce. Do you think they will be ok another week in their tiny little pot thing?

Thanks so much!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Progress on my seedlings

Are you keeping a journal?
These would be good things to remember for next year.
Thomas Jefferson kept meticulous journals on his gardening experiments.

RE: Progress on my seedlings

  • Posted by digdirt 6b-7a North AR (My Page) on
    Wed, Mar 19, 14 at 20:39

started my seeds on 21 Feb

Started way to early for your plant out date which is late May. So no, sorry but at least the tomato plants will need transplanting at least once more into larger containers. I would also suggest you start some more at the end of this month in case some these don't survive. These will be awfully big to transplant by the end of May and the new ones will be about the right size.

The lettuce and whatever the others are should be ok - broccoli?? - but save yourself some work and space next year by doing things that should be direct seeded that way rather than indoors.

There were roots growing out of the netting and some of them broke off. And now, after transplanting they are very droopy looking.

So you used peat pellets? That is something else you will want to re-evaluate for next year. I hope you stripped off the netting before transplanting them? Some drooping is normal after transplanting - it is a shock, especially if they were already rootbound - but they should recover with 24 hours.

Good luck.


RE: Progress on my seedlings

Thank you, yes, I am keeping a journal.

I thought I was following what I read in SFG book, but probably messed it up.

I used the Jiffy greenhouse to start the seeds. I guess it has a peat based medium. What is it about peat that I will want to change for next year? Yes, I took off the netting.

I'm a bit confused. I think my last frost date is Apr 15. It says to start some stuff 7 weeks ahead of that date. I miscalculated that a few days. According to my book, everything except the peppers can be put out by Apr 15. Am I misunderstanding it?

I will start some more tomatoes. I really hope the tomatoes make it because some of them are from seed I saved myself.

Thanks for the help.

RE: Progress on my seedlings

  • Posted by digdirt 6b-7a North AR (My Page) on
    Wed, Mar 19, 14 at 21:53

If you are zone 5 as indicated in your post then your last frost date is mid-May. If northern MO then it may even be later.

I know that from talking with many other zone 5 residents and because I am south of you in AR and in zone 6b and our last frost is Apr. 20th. We don't even start our tomato plants down here until Mar 1-10th.

MO has several different pockets of 5a, 5b, and 6a scattered all over the state so you might want to explore your actual location vs. zone some more.

Add to that planting out is normally done 10-14 days after last frost date so that the soil has time to warm up first and that puts you into the end of May just as with most zone 5 residents.

Now if you actually aren't zone 5 then just ignore all this as that is what I was going by. :)


RE: Progress on my seedlings

Thank you.

There seems to be a lot of conflicting information out there. I guess I will chalk it up.

RE: Progress on my seedlings

  • Posted by dbarron Z6/7 (Oklahoma) (My Page) on
    Thu, Mar 20, 14 at 8:58

Not to be ominous, but given the winter we've had so far, I wouldn't be terribly surprised if your (or even our) last frost date this year isn't early June. The weather just keeps giving...whether we want it or not.

RE: Progress on my seedlings

  • Posted by digdirt 6b-7a North AR (My Page) on
    Thu, Mar 20, 14 at 10:42

The weather just keeps giving...whether we want it or not.

Exactly. Which is why the recommended 2 week wait AFTER the frost date for planting out. Or be prepared to cover/protect. Gardening, without being well aware of your detailed weather forecast, is really gamboling.

There seems to be a lot of conflicting information out there. I guess I will chalk it up.

Yes there is. Which is why learning to evaluate the accuracy of your sources is so important. Books are quickly outdated for example.

When in doubt, post the name of your actual city location not just your guess at a zone number, and usually someone who lives there too will pick up on it.


RE: Progress on my seedlings

Well I thought my source was a reputable source, the latest SFG book by Mel Bartholomew.

I didn't really guess what my zone number is, my source is University of Missouri Climate Center.

This is my first attempt at gardening and obviously I have a lot to learn, but I have to start somewhere.

I was pretty excited about things, but now I'm feeling quite bummed.

RE: Progress on my seedlings

  • Posted by digdirt 6b-7a North AR (My Page) on
    Thu, Mar 20, 14 at 19:04

Hey no need to feel bummed. Didn't mean to do that. It is all just a part of the learning process about gardening. :)

Try the link below - it lets you put in your zip code - and then tells you exactly which of the 6 MO zones you are in - 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, or 7a

See all the little pockets of different zones all over the state?

And this one tells you last frost date by zip code too.

Maybe that will help.


Here is a link that might be useful: MO plant zones

RE: Progress on my seedlings

organic flutterby,

Try to remember that gardening is a process of learning, trying, and then learning from successes and failures. The generous people who offer their advice here and who write books and blogs have gone through this process for many years. I would hazard to guess that most of them still have successes and unforeseen failures from which they learn, even with all of that experience. So relax, read as much as you can from a variety of sources, and then try things. What works is great, and what fails is a lesson learned. Try something different next time. My first garden many years ago was a huge experiment. I had no idea what a bean plant looked like and was pleasantly surprised when I actually harvested enough veggies to freeze and can some extras for winter. Been at it for over 30 years since then and I have successes and failures every year. That is the challenge, and what keeps it interesting. Try not to take it all so seriously and enjoy the process!

RE: Progress on my seedlings

  • Posted by ZachS z5 Littleton, CO (My Page) on
    Sat, Mar 22, 14 at 21:38

Woah woah woah! Never feel bummed! Take your successes and run with them, take your failures and learn from them.

My first garden, I planted about 8 different kinds of seeds. You what I would up growing? Beans, and that was quite by accident! That year I even tried growing 2 indeterminate tomatoes in these tiny little containers with less then 1/2 a bag of soil each! (The coup de grâce was when I woke up one morning and all my beans looked like they had been in a fight with a weed whacker, covered with a layer of hail that looked like it had snowed). Then, the first time I tried starting seeds indoors, I killed every single transplant, except for 2 cabbages, because I didn't harden them off. You talk about naivety and feeling bummed? Holy cow, and we are only on year number one!

It's been a while since then, though not nearly as long as a lot of people here (not that I'm calling them old or anything ;P) and now my failures are no longer as daunting. And believe me, there are quite a few of them, but I also have a lot more success, too. It's a learning thing, and the coolest part bout it is that there is always new learning! You never know it all because gardening is not one size fits all. You have to try new things, and try to improve old things to fit you, and your current situation.

As for your seedlings in question: The good news is that if you loose any, you have time to redo darn near all of them.

-I don't typically transplant onions, unless they are really crowded and/or I start them way too early.

-Lettuce, I always direct seed. So, if your lettuce started indoors doesn't make it, you always have direct sewing as a back-up plan, and you wont be behind anyways.

-The tomatoes, I wouldn't throw those ones out, but I would put in another batch of seed just in case. There is plenty of time for starting tomatoes yet. in fact, here in my zone 5 climate I don't start my tomato seeds until mid-late march, and I know a lot of folks around here who wait until April so, you'd be right on schedule if you popped some more in right now, or even if you waited a week or two.

-The cabbage type plants, I'd also give it a couple weeks or so and then start some more seeds, just in case these ones don't make it or don't transplant very well. You are still at least 2 months out for your last expected frost, which is plenty of time to start another batch.

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