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Did I 'burn' my seeds?

Posted by boilmeimirish 9 (My Page) on
Thu, Apr 8, 10 at 13:42

After purchasing one of those Jiffy seed starting greenhouse units (70 individual plants), I feel I may have left it in the sun for too long. I properly planted and watered (moistened) the peat and covered the greenhouse outside.

After 4 or 5 days out there, I noticed no germination, so I opened the lid to have a look. BOY was it hot in there! Must have been close to 120*. While the outside temps were never higher than 80, it really seemed to trap all the heat in there.

They are still not germinating. Should I re-plant and start over with the greenhouse inside, away from direct sunlight?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Did I 'burn' my seeds?

I don't think those deals are intended to be used outdoors; it's not called the 'greenhouse effect' for nothin! :) I would move it indoors, leave the dome on, and give what you planted a little while to see what they do. What seeds have you planted? That would give us more of an idea if they should have sprouted by now or not.

RE: Did I 'burn' my seeds?

Yes you killed your seeds. I'm extremely doubtful if any will germinate now.

To show you just how much the sun can heat. I have a 6' x 8' greenhouse. It can be below freezing outside, and with the sun shining it will be too hot in the greenhouse and I'll have to open the vents. One spring after I had finished planting everything out, I closed up the greenhouse. When I went out a couple of days later to clean things up, I discovered a tray I had left on the shelf. It was actually melted on one side and warped out of shape from the heat. Now that was much more space to heat than a tray with a cover.

Those so called greenhouse trays are misnamed and misleading. They are not a greenhouse but simply a tray with a humidity cover and are not meant to be used outside.

I think you should replant. You can use the same soil, but keep it indoors.

RE: Did I 'burn' my seeds?

Thanks guys! I'm super bummed, but I'll just have to replant. I have all sorts of hot and mild peppers, bell peppers, lemongrass, basil, summer squash, zucchini, cucumbers, cilantro, parsley, tomatoes.

many of them were partially sprouted before i moved them outside, and some still look like they might have life in them, but most are starting to look very very weak. I have moved it inside, and I hope to see some improvements soon.

RE: Did I 'burn' my seeds?

Oh, you said you hadn't seen signs of germination, but now you say most of them were 'partially sprouted' and 'starting to look very weak'. So I'm a tad confused about exactly what state your seeds/seedlings were in when you put them outside. If they had sprouted at all, dome should have been removed. Truthfully, late as it is (though I don't know what zone you are in), I'd just direct sow most of your varieties. Anyway, yeah I'd say they will probably not pull through if they had germinated (sprouted) when you put them out there; might've been a chance if they hadn't germinated at all, but doubtful.

RE:Re: Did I 'burn' my seeds?

Some had partially germinated, others had not. I'm in Long Beach, California. If you think direct sowing would be a better approach, I'll try that instead. This is my first season starting from seed, and boy has it been frustrating! Hopefully by next year I'll have worked out all the kinks.


RE: Did I 'burn' my seeds?

I gotcha. No worries, trial and error are the name of the game. :) In case you haven't, do check out the FAQ on the front page of this forum. Most folks start seeds early indoors and grow under lights until it's time to plant outside. I'd direct sow everything except possibly the peppers and tomatoes; hopefully someone else will chime in here with opinions. Those two germinate a bit better at higher temperatures, so if you could sprout them indoors on a warm surface, you'd probably get faster germination. My experience is with starting seeds indoors under lights, so I'm not sure about the logistics of sprouting them indoors and then transitioning immediately to sunshine/outdoors, so I don't know if that's do-able. It might be easier to get yourself a couple of cheap shop lights for those. You might also try the vegetable forum and for best germination temps/techniques for your various veggies. Hope that helps. Don't get discouraged, once you get the basics down, you'll do great! :)

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