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frost protection for cool season vegetable seedlings?

Posted by Rain_Frog none (My Page) on
Thu, Mar 24, 11 at 23:10

I planted the following seeds: snap peas, chives, onion, boy choy, spinach, carrot, radish, and Chinese broccoli (Kai Lan). I planted garlic cloves and seed potatoes.

Everything except the potatoes (which are in pots for stacking the dirt higher) is in the ground. From reading, I planted everything at the correct time-- mid March for Zone 5.

However, I'm confused whether or not I need to protect the seedlings. So far, only the bok choy has sprouted. There is a light freeze (28 degrees) predicted this weekend, and I'm not sure if its necessary to cover the seedlings with something or just leave them be. My seed packets say "plant as soon as the ground can be worked." Other websites say for spinach and Gai-Lan: 6-8 weeks before last frost. Meanwhile, I read in my local garden center's catalog that cool season veggie seedlings should be protected from frost, and some websites say that bok choy should not be planted until frost is gone.

I'm really confused who, or what to believe honestly. I tried looking around gardenweb but can't find much information except people using low tunnels to warm the soil a few degrees at night.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: frost protection for cool season vegetable seedlings?

Honestly I don't have the nerve or the guts to go through all this stuff. I am in zone 7 and I wait until I make sure no frost or freeze. This probably depending on the year. Sometimes late April and sometimes early May. I have enough problems protecting my fruit trees flowers from frost. I hang Xmas lights on the trees but this is pain in the neck.

RE: frost protection for cool season vegetable seedlings?

I am in Zone 5B and I sow carrots, peas, spinach, radishes, and potatoes the first week of May, I pushed it a few years ago and planted them mid April, and didnt gain any extra benefit.

I start onion seeds inside though.

Where did you read yoru info on when to plant out for zone 5? I have always read/used May 10th. But every year is different, I watch the weather and teh temp of the soil... there is no real golden answer.

You could cover what you have with a frost cloth, but you would need to remove it during the day.. problem is... this week we are never going to get above freezing, so it is too chilly with or without a frost blanket. Frost is much different than a hard freeze.


RE: frost protection for cool season vegetable seedlings?

The local nursery's catalogue has a planting calendar. It said to start what I planted in Mid-March. I was told by other people that in Kansas City, St. Patty's day is the best time to plant potatoes. I talked to a woman in person and she told me not to worry cuz she always planted potatoes and frost didn't kill them, but mine are in pots for stacking higher.

Also, my seed packets said for peas, bok choy, and spinach to plant as soon as the ground can be worked, and I have read that spinach needs to be planted several weeks before the last frost. The last frost in Kansas City is around mid-April. True, the temperatures are just going to dip to about 28-29 degrees at night, so not a real freeze.

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