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Warning! Heat can be the enemy

Moorhead, MN(Zone 4a)

This is a warning for all who are starting to WS (winter sow). Heat in the spring can be the biggest enemy. I had many plants that survived a brutal freeze in late May. Conversely, I tragically lost many plants to heat.

This year I am going to move most of my containers to areas that only receive morning sun once they have germinated. The high heat periods of the day were just too hot for them with any sort of cover on them.

Could I have uncovered them? Sure. Will I remember or have time? No. Better safe than sorry.

Auburn, MA(Zone 5b)

You're right....I'm glad you brought that up. I learned that the hard way also. ;) I do the same thing you do. As they sprout, I start cutting bigger slits and move them to a shadier part of the garden. It also helps me corall the sprouted ones from the unsprouted. Sort of like herding sheep, except my bottles don't often take off across the yard on their own :) It also helps me watch them grow and maybe gloat a little.

Marietta, GA(Zone 7b)

hmmm, any other thoughts on this? i was considering building a raised structure which which to cover and was hoping to just remove as temps rise... not move to another spot.. Anyone else have any thoughts/experience on this??


Northwest, OH(Zone 5b)

Mine are in an area that only gets morning sun and as the spring progresses, a crabapple tree will start to shade even that. If I need to move them into more sun, I will, but I doubt I will need to.

Moorhead, MN(Zone 4a)

Susan (soulgardenlove),

A cover can work very well. The key is not forgetting even one day to remove it if the temps rise too high. This is crucial.

My problem is that we went from 90 degrees during the day in April to 23 degrees one night in May. Our weather can be quite extreme. The WS method still works well, but the covering system can't be left on even one hour too long in the heat or you will end up with seedling stew.

I lost more seedlings to the heat than the freeze.

This message was edited Jan 24, 2006 5:02 PM

Marietta, GA(Zone 7b)

Thanks for the info Jefe. I now realize how important it would be to remove the cover.. I would probably want to error on the side of leaving it off if I had to, but clearly close attention is called for. I am far south, and it might not be needed as much at all.. also, we are having very warm temps for this time of year. I read on one WS thread where someone in the south said that they had been sowing this way without the covers and it had worked just fine for them. I guess the whole point of the cover is to create the greenhouse effect and get the germination and early start that would happen indoors, but letting nautre take its course would work too. I'm just glad to find a method that takes me out of the basement!


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