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starting ornamentals waaaaay early

Posted by mjzzyzoff 6oh (My Page) on
Sun, Nov 24, 13 at 11:14

I'm starting ornamental seeds for the first time this year, and while I'm quite familiar with veggies, (and there's so much info out there about them) I don't know a thing about stuff that's not edible. I'll be starting everything from hostas to coleus to grasses to native plants to perennial flowers and herbs. A little bit of everything, really.

I found a seed chart that lists starting dates for annuals and I'm sure I can find some for the perrenials, but I know I won't have room at the typical 6-12 weeks before last frost for all these seedlings along with my veggies so I'd like to start the ornamentals earlier. I'm planning to start my hostas now (as I know they take a while to get to transplant stage) and whatever else I can get away with. Also hoping I'll have some nice established plants for the plant swap in the spring.

I have 2 400w MH fixtures and the ability to swap them out for HPS. Also 4 regular shop florescents.

I'm thinking of using the grow lights to get them to large transplant stage and then slowing the growth by putting them under the shop lights. Is this crazy? Have I lost my marbles? Will this set them back more than the gain from starting so early?

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RE: starting ornamentals waaaaay early

There's nothing wrong with starting some plants early (results may vary with different types of plants), but I wonder what you will gain. The plants that are grown early will still need light and even more space when they get big. What will you do with the ones you start early, while you are starting the next batch?

You might want to look into wintersowing some of your seeds so that they won't have to be started under grow lights, indoors. You could do some indoors and some outdoors.

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