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cherishedtiger
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Location: Sacramento, California

My herbs!!!

So I started all my herbs (mind you it was a lot!) All indoors, all in those little peat moss trays in a green house indoors. As they started to grow and it started to warm up here in California I decided it was time to go out doors they needed direct sunlight. Something they were not getting in my house (anywhere!) Outside they went. Nice warm sun, and protected by the green house... next day they were all DEAD!!!! Everything I had spent months propagating dead... :cry:

So OK apparently outside too soon, I see my mistake... however they weren't really growing because of the lack of sun. Everything was just molding to wet with no way to dry.

So my question is, do I start over in the peat trays, outside in the greenhouse? Or should I just say forget it and plant in the ground???

I am so saddened by the loss of all my plants... any help would be appreciated!

(just a side note, no matter where I place my green house or plants indoors they get no direct sunlight thanks to living in a duplex with the sun never peaking through right) :(
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Kisal
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I would wait a bit if you want to sow directly in the ground. The exception might be if you're far south in CA.

If you want to restart indoors, just do as you did before. You can hang a fluorescent light fixture a few inches above the pots, until the plants are big enough to start taking them outdoors. As soon as your seeds sprout, remove the cover. If you leave it on, it invites mold and fungal diseases, such as damping off. You can take your plants outdoors on nice days, but first, they need to be hardened off. They'll die if you just set them out in full sun, after being started indoors.

When I move my plants from indoors to outside, I place them in full shade for the first few days. Over a period of 2 or 3 weeks, I move them every few days to a location where they get a little more sun. I bring them back in the house at night. By the end of the second or third week, my plants are used to sitting in full sun from early morning until sundown.

If the weather is still nice, I then leave my seedlings out all night, although I usually cover each one with an overturned flowerpot to protect against slugs and snails. If yours are still in the flats, you can just put the clear plastic cover on to protect them overnight.

If the weather has taken a turn for the worse and nights have become cold, I continue to bring my plants indoors at night.
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emerald7
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Joined: Fri Feb 19, 2010 6:13 am
Location: Houston, TX

Re: My herbs!!!

cherishedtiger wrote:So I started all my herbs (mind you it was a lot!) All indoors, all in those little peat moss trays in a green house indoors. As they started to grow and it started to warm up here in California I decided it was time to go out doors they needed direct sunlight. Something they were not getting in my house (anywhere!) Outside they went. Nice warm sun, and protected by the green house... next day they were all DEAD!!!! Everything I had spent months propagating dead... :cry:

So OK apparently outside too soon, I see my mistake... however they weren't really growing because of the lack of sun. Everything was just molding to wet with no way to dry.

So my question is, do I start over in the peat trays, outside in the greenhouse? Or should I just say forget it and plant in the ground???

I am so saddened by the loss of all my plants... any help would be appreciated!

(just a side note, no matter where I place my green house or plants indoors they get no direct sunlight thanks to living in a duplex with the sun never peaking through right) :(
Hi... Sorry about your plants.

I lost a bunch of seeds due to this same problem... What I learned is that peat trays, first off, are a haven for fungus to grow on. Because the peat trays normally contain peat and wood. They also don't dry out very well, so the trays stay wet. Fungus, mold, and mushrooms just love a nice wet wood place to grow on. So, I've sworn off peat pots forever, because they're mold waiting to happen. Get some plastic ones instead.

But it sounds like they may have been overwatered as well. (I had this problem too...) It's an odyssey.

And the hardening off... I won't give advice about that because I don't know much about it, other than it needs to be gradual.

I am currently gardening indoors with special lights. It seems to be going fine now that I have my light setup. It requires a LOT of light to do it indoors if you don't have light from the windows (I have the same problem of no light in the house). So that might be something to consider, getting artificial lighting if you do it indoors.
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rainbowgardener
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Agree with emerald, the peat containers are seedling killers. Hold too much moisture and promote mold and other fungus. Then if the peat finally starts to dry out, it sucks all the water away from the seedlings and dries them out. So if you do start again indoors, use some kind of plastic containers - plastic drink cups or yoghurt containers or whatever you have around, as long as you put plenty of drainage holes in the bottom.

Are you sure you put them out too soon? You said you put them outside "in the nice warm sun in the greenhouse." Did the greenhouse have any ventilation? Putting a closed greenhouse in the sunshine is a good way to cook plants! It really does heat up in there, even if it's still pretty mild outside, as long as it is sunny.

You didn't say where you are in California; that covers a lot of territory and climates. If the soil is warming up, you may be able to just direct plant in the ground at this point, although personally I think starting indoors does give you a bit more control of all the variables and ability to baby tiny seedlings.
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Gary350
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I think you didn't get them outside soon enough. I have been plant seeds in pots of 30 years. The tiny little plants are pretty hardy when they first pop up through the soil. If they don't get some real sunlight soon the plants use a lot of energy growing tall and skinny and they don't fill out. The plants become very tender too. You need them outside the next day after they sprout. They need to be exposted to wind, rain, sun, cold at night but no frost or freeze and hot during the day. This makes the plants stronger and they grow better and faster. It is not good to play babysitter for mother nature. Get those plant outside early and plant in compost cow manure or some good home grown compost or potting soil.

I started my herbs about a week ago. It is 43 deg F outside, rain, over cast, not much sunlight but a lot better than light bulbs. Cilantro, basil, savory, parsley, fennel. I sprinkle plenty of seeds on the surface of the soil, cover them with sand. I sprout them in the house and they come up in 2 to 3 days. If it gets too cold at night they come in the house.

[img]https://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e358/gary350/Herbs-1.jpg[/img]

shaefins
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Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 11:17 pm
Location: Pittsburgh, 6A

Gary, do you thin out those seedlings before you put them in the ground? Or do you separate them somehow?

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