It's time to vote on our 2017 photo contest! Vote for your favorite photos of the year here!

How to sow indoors in "cool " place

Munster, IN(Zone 5b)

Some of my seed packets say to start in a cool place. I don't have a basement or room that can be closed off easily. So most of the house is at least 64 -70 degrees. Garage is unheated and as cold as 20 degrees right now. What do you do for these seeds?

Arlington, MA(Zone 6a)

the 'fridge, if you have room. a friend's basement? what are the seeds? i have found that some packages call for much more fuss than the seeds really need. someone here may be able to tell you if the seeds really need "cool"

Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

It is difficult to give advise when you don't mention what plant/s you are referring to.

In general, annual plant can be started at room temp. Perennials, especially hardy ones, often requires cold temps with moisture, (referred to as stratification). Depending on variety/genus they can be sown in flats then left ouside in shade or unheated garage to sprout in the spring as temperature warms. Freezing will not hurt them. Also in the fridge.

This is how I start iris seeds. They need the flunctuating temperature. Below are my iris seeds in individual containers then placed in the larger bin. They will sprout this spring. This is my second year doing likewise.

Check out the forum "Winter Sowing" Lots of friendly folks there who winter sow all types of seeds.

This message was edited Jan 19, 2012 8:26 PM

Thumbnail by blomma
Clover, SC

Just checking ... lots of seed packets say "store in a dry cool place." If you are actually supposed to start in a cool place, then 60-65 degrees probably pretty good.

Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

"store in a dry cool place." just means what it states. STORE (not start) in a dry cool place. It is not referring to sowing, just storing. Best place to store seeds is in a ziplock back placed in the crisper of the fridge. You can also use the crisper to start hard perennial seeds.

Peoria, IL(Zone 5a)

I just bought three colors of annual Lobelia that needs to be germinated in a cool place, 10 to 15 days at 55 degrees F. They also need light to germinate. I will set up a light in the cooler part of the basement to start them.

If you can't find somewhere to start your seeds exactly as specified on the package for the cooler germinating temp., I would do it on the floor in the coolest room of the house. The temp will be lower on the floor than up higher.

Pueblo, CO(Zone 5b)

You might try checking the temperature on the floor. The temperature of a room can vary 20 degrees between near the floor and near the ceiling.

Munster, IN(Zone 5b)

Found this cool project on-line, and started some of the cool start seeds. [Pansies, pinks and nierembergia]

By the way I got the planting instructions from Park's seed catalog [middle pages.] which I have had good luck with for several years. This company has been willing to replace seed with poor germination results, or change an order I goofed on.
Thanks all for the responses. Will post pictures once I know more re: the milk jug greenhouses, so far they are easy and seem cool! Pun intended! LOL

Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

Quote from franknjim :
I just bought three colors of annual Lobelia that needs to be germinated in a cool place, 10 to 15 days at 55 degrees F. They also need light to germinate. I will set up a light in the cooler part of the basement to start them.

Small/tiny seeds do not need light to germinate. All that means is that small and tiny seeds have to be surfaced sown (on top of the soil) rather than be covered. You don't have to set up lights to start them, just need light after they sprouted.

Goodview, VA

Can newly sprouted veg. seeds be placed in full direct sun, or indirect sunlite?

Arlington, MA(Zone 6a)

Most veggie prefer full sun. just be mindful of the ambient temp for the seedlings.

Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

If sprouted in the house, newly sprouted seeds (veggies or flowers) need to be hardened off before they are planted in the garden or they will burn.

Place them where they will receive morning sun for 1 week, then gradually give them more sun. If you want to plant them directly into the garden, you need to use plastic milk bottles to shade them a bit until they are established.

Below is a milk carton protecting my tomato plant against late frost and to harden them off. It is held in place by a dowel. The cut opening faces east for morning sun.

Thumbnail by blomma
Arlington, MA(Zone 6a)

blomma, great homemade cloche. you have tomatoes in the ground already?

Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

No, I don't grow veggies anymore. My kids are all grown and married. My daughter grows veggies. I am into flowers.

Post a Reply to this Thread

You cannot post until you , sign up and subscribe. to post.