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Garbage Bag Cold Frame

Posted by Bill1897 6b (My Page) on
Tue, Mar 27, 12 at 13:20

I started my seedlings indoors and they've been getting leggy. I've placed them very close to the T8, 32 watt fluorescent lights but some of the ones on the periphery of the lights just don't get enough direct light. I've lost a considerable amount of my watermelon from stretching and falling over.

I was wondering if anyone has tried or knows of what the results would be if I placed the 72 cell Jiffy trays with the seedlings outside in a clear garbage bag in full sun and with the bag propped up to prevent the plastic from actually touching the plants. I'm growing eggplant, tomatoes, watermelon, cucumbers, lettuce, peas, cantaloupe, and alpine strawberries.

The daytime highs are in the fifties for the next week and I would be taking them inside at or before sundown.

Any feedback would be much appreciated.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Garbage Bag Cold Frame

Going from inside to outside into direct sun easily kills them and does so quickly. They need to be gradually hardened off so first you need to read about hardening off and how it is a gradual process done over several days.

Try your plants, in the bag if you wish with the top open, first in full shade for a couple of hours and monitor them closely for wilting. Then you can gradually move them into partial shade/sun and over the next few days - depending on the temps - and finally into full sun.

Dave


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RE: Garbage Bag Cold Frame

Hi Dave,

Do you think that they can be hardened off with temps in the fifties? Is this too cool for them or should they be fine? Temps at night are above freezing FYI, even though I'd be bringing in them long before overnight lows. Why don't most people grow their seedlings like this instead of buying shoplights and using electricity? Hardening them off seems like the biggest inconvenience, but it sounds like it beats having to keep a perfect light environment indoors (which seems nearly unattainable for me). Is it possible that the seedlings will stretch outside once hardened off in full sun or is that rare (assuming not cloudy skies)?

This would be very convenient if it did actually work.


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