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Article: Seed Starting 101: Setting up Light Shelves for Starting Plants from Seed Indoors, Without a Greenhouse: Planting Out Probs

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Forum: Article: Seed Starting 101: Setting up Light Shelves for Starting Plants from Seed Indoors, Without a GreenhouseReplies: 3, Views: 40
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Jax4ever
Boxford, MA
(Zone 6a)

January 18, 2008
2:14 AM

Post #4417921

Great article! Thanks! BUT...
I have always had great success with growing seedlings indoors under shop lights in my basement. The big problem is that they always die when planted out! They just keel over- I'm not sure if it's "damping off" or what, but I am too discouraged by this to ever try starting seeds indoors again. I have read the elaborate measures needed to "harden off" seedlings by exposing them gradually to the outdoors, but if you have more than 4 flats, it is very difficult.
I hope you will share with us the secrets of getting these little guys growing outdoors!!!
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

January 18, 2008
3:37 AM

Post #4418425

I do have an article planned on "hardening off." You're right... it's hard to move 20 flats of seedlings in and out and all about! But you can shelter them with row cover, or in one of those little plastic-covered zip-front "greenhouse" shelf units and gradually remove the protection until they're hardened off.

Try again! Even if you grow just a few flats of seedlings that you know you can harden off successfully, that'll let you grow out some varieties that you can't readily find in local nurseries.
Jax4ever
Boxford, MA
(Zone 6a)

January 18, 2008
6:20 AM

Post #4419094

When I put my seedlings into one of those little greenhouses, they fried!!! SO, I unzipped the cover for ventilation the next year, and it blew off. So, I bought a replacement cover. Before I got that years' seeds in it, the cover blew off again and is in the next state. I am SUPREMELY discouraged. Too bad gardening horror stories don't play well as stand-up comedy material... I'd have my own show!
I actually have had lots more luck in winter sowing 'en situ' (sp?)- that is, simply tossing the seed of hardy perennials/biennials where I want them to grow. Works like magic for foxgloves, hosta, certain poppies and most wildflowers. BUT, I DO want lots of the more exotic annuals that are out there! Especially when you consider the prices of the mail-order plants (that will probably die after shipping!)
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

January 18, 2008
12:40 PM

Post #4419389

Row cover (or an old sheet) is good for shading those little greenhouses, too... and unzipping during the day can be crucial.

We've got a whole forum about winter sowing (in containers as well as direct sowing), if you want an alternative. I do that in addition to starting seeds inside. I usually get that underway in February, and I've got a how-to article scheduled for Groundhog's Day. :-)

I'd suggest trying again, but with just a few flats, so you'll know you'll be successful with hardening off, even if you have to move the flats around each day for a week while they get accustomed to outside conditions.

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Other Article: Seed Starting 101: Setting up Light Shelves for Starting Plants from Seed Indoors, Without a Greenhouse Threads you might be interested in:

SubjectThread StarterRepliesLast Post
Great information! doccat5 12 Jan 20, 2008 2:20 AM
Great article! wind 9 Jan 17, 2008 8:35 PM
Wonderful! gloriag 1 Jan 17, 2008 9:51 PM
Thanks Critter! Seandor 3 Jan 21, 2008 5:28 PM
Starting columbine seeds xshoshin 1 Mar 2, 2008 1:32 AM


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