Senior Member
Posts: 129
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2010 2:17 pm
Location: NorthWest NJ

When to transfer seedlings to the garden?

North Western NJ back again. I have taken out my seedlings in their containers outside every day for the past week or so to 'harden' them as told to. Last night I left them out all night and they were fine (only dropped to mid 40's). my string beans have to go in tomorrow (they have gotten big, quick) but what of the smaller ones? My cucumbers are not doing well (maybe that dome disease mentioned in an earlier topic) but the spinach might be big enough to transplant as well. Any thoughts?

Full Member
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2009 10:22 pm
Location: Amherst NY

I live in Buffalo NY area and planted a few small plants today that I raised from seed. I planted 1 broccoli, 1 brussel sprout, 1 green bean, 10 spanish onions, and seeded a row of carrots. My hope is that these will not be effected by a mild frost, if it happens, and chose these plants hoping they will be hardier.

Last year I planted a lot this weekend some from seed and some seedlings. I have only been gardening for 3 years and seeing on my own what is possible and I guess trial and error. Last year there was only a few frosts and I covered the plants and did not lose any plants.

I will not put out any lettuce or spinach out yet, and tomatoes need to wait until late May or beginning of June.

In my area the cautious planters will never plant before Memorial day.

I hope this is helpful in some way.

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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25279
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Really need to make a distinction between cool weather plants and warm weather plants.

The cool weather plants include broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, lettuce, spinach, swiss chard, carrots. They like cool weather, tolerate some snow and frost once hardened off well, and do not like hot weather, tend to bolt (go to seed) or fizzle once it gets hot. They should be in the ground now. Here in zone 6, I planted mine in mid-March and my broccoli has heads on it now. Broccoli planted late tends to go straight to flowers without setting heads.

Warm weather crops includes pretty much everything else, but there are degrees. Tomatoes and peppers don't tolerate frost, and they don't like it really cold, but they can tolerate a bit of cool (nights in the 40's). The things like squash, melons, cucumbers are the last to go out, they like the soil nice and warmed up.

So for RuH... yes if the spinach has been hardened off a bit, get it in the ground ASAP. But for next year, lettuce, spinach, swiss chard, etc really don't need to be started indoors. They are quick-sprouting, fast growing and can be just direct seeded in the ground. Then they are cold hardy from the beginning and don't need to be hardened off. Cucumbers should wait a while yet.

For dmcn... lettuce, spinach, broccoli, brussels sprouts should be in the garden already. Onions are often planted in the fall to over winter and then grow in the spring. All of these (once hardened) will tolerate light frost just fine. Mine got snowed on after they were in the ground.

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