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Beginner Gardening Questions: Will My Squash Plants Survive or Should I Let Them Go?!

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Silvermist
Sacramento, CA
(Zone 9b)

March 30, 2013
1:02 PM

Post #9466834

Afraid that my squash plants needed more room to grow from being sow indoors I transplanted some of them in mid March. However I noticed that the temperatures were not very good to them. I transplanted them in 2 separate areas in my backyard. Some of them receive full sun, the rest partial sun due to my lack of space. I noticed that the ones that receive full sun seem to be thriving better, however all of them have grown white lines on the leaves. What does that indicate?

Will my squash plants make it through the low temperatures? April is almost here!!! I'm new to this and consider it a trial and error process with the early transplants. I have a few more indoor squash plants that are growing beautifully, I would appreciate some tips so that my next transplants are more successful. Thanks!

*Look at the comparison of the ones transplanted outdoors to the ones I kept indoors! Obviously the instructions to sow in ground would have failed me in the germination process and forth.

More info:
Summer Squash, Goldtender, Burpee Seeds, Sow indoors March 5, Germinated March 13, still growing in cups due to low temperatures outside, beginning to harden off indoor plants, receives 5-8 hours of sun daily depending on the weather

Any advice is appreciated! :)

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WeeNel
Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

March 30, 2013
3:38 PM

Post #9466979

Hi Silvermist, If you re-read your question, you are more or less answering the question yourself.

I think you have hit the nail on the head re the temp, the plants indoors have grown away snug as bugs in a rug BUT, all is not lost YET, the plants that are outside have suffered from what we call transplant shock, and sitting in cold soil around tender roots has meant they can begin to grow on until there environment is right for baby seedlings.

I'm not sure IF you should try lift them out the soil with a small clump of soil around the roots and re-pot them back into pots to keep indoors for a week or so as I don't know when your soil will be warm enough for transplanting seedlings that MUST have war conditions to grow.

My own gut feeling and what I would do in your position is try to make a shelter or little greenhouse for these seedlings,
here at home I would place a plastic container over each seed, bottom end cut off and that end goes into the ground, remove the cap to allow air to circulate and this also ventilates.
IF you don't have enough plastic containers then make a tent type structure along the rows and buy cheep clear plastic as this will help warm up the soil as well as keeping the cooler temps off the little plant's. Use the garden canes to make the structure frame work then the plastic will act as the cover.

I would think the seedlings will survive, given some help, and the mottle pattern on the leaves is caused by the transplant shock and the cold, this mottling is in the immature leaves, (the first leave to develop at germination) these leaves are used for handling the seedling, as if you hold the stem on baby seedlings there is a chance of causing weekness or disease to attack the plants. As seedlings get growing and the plant develop's other leaves, these small baby leaves you see mottled, will normally shrivel up and drop off or just sit there and not grow any more.

I feel sure you will sort the seedlings out, once the temp rises you need to remove any shelter you have made and remember to water as required too.
Best wishes and happy gardening year.
WeeNel.
Diana_K
Contra Costa County, CA
(Zone 9b)

March 31, 2013
4:39 PM

Post #9467915

I would put a clear plastic tent over the outdoor ones.
This will act like a greenhouse, warm the soil, warm the air, and keep them a bit warmer at night.

I have removed the tent from my Mexican Lime, and it is just fine, in our mild weather, but I think it is a bit cool for the summer vegetables, yet.
Silvermist
Sacramento, CA
(Zone 9b)

April 1, 2013
12:34 PM

Post #9468816

Thanks for all the advice. I will surely practice the tent greenhouse-method next time around.

Since healthy upbringing is important to me I think I will be digging up the ones in the backyard and replacing them with the strongest plant I have growing indoors when early summer comes around.

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