arisachu
Cool Member
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 2:57 am
Location: Athens, GA

I need some advice as a (very) novice gardener

Hey there,

I have just planted some seeds earlier today, but I'm not very wise as to what I should be doing. I planted catnip, cilantro, and brussels sprouts. I was browsing on some other topics and saw people talking about heat pads and lights, but I'm a (stereotypically) poor college student who lives in a fairly tiny apartment. :[

I don't have any safe place to keep my seeds indoors but still get sunlight since I have two naughty kitties, so would it be okay to keep them outside (I live on the bottom floor apartment with a small patio outside and another patio covering ours) as long as the temperature is high enough? Would the patio covering my apartment be enough to act as shade against very direct sunlight, or am I just wishful thinking? I've also been seeing that direct sunlight so early is not good for them (?) or something like that. I am so very confused. :'(
Any help would be greatly appreciated. I would really like to have some fresh catnip for my babies and the homegrown cilantro and brussels sprouts were kind of a future present for my boyfriend, so I really want these to work out. :3

Thanks in advance~!
(I also apologize if this was covered in another topic, but I just wasn't sure what I should be searching for)

arisachu
Cool Member
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 2:57 am
Location: Athens, GA

Thank you so much for your help! I planted them in those containers that you can put straight into the ground. I have a small patch of garden right in front of the patio that the property manager said I could plant in and hoped it would be big enough for the sprouts. It's a fairly decent sized bit of land that was sequestered off by some older tenant. As for the smell, we live close enough to the dumpster that it may not be a problem. :lol: But I will definitely confer with my property manager andcmake sure it's okay.
I am keeping the seedlings in one of those plastic containers that you put large pots in so they don't leak everywhere. I don't have a covering so I can keep them in direct light until they pop out of the dirt?

arisachu
Cool Member
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 2:57 am
Location: Athens, GA

I'm so glad you brought up that suggestion! I would have never thought to do that with the pots! Today I'd like to rig up some sort of naughty kitty-proof plant station. We have neighborhood cats too so wherever I put them I'll most likely have to make some sort of safety area, especially for the catnip. :lol:

arisachu
Cool Member
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 2:57 am
Location: Athens, GA

I actually forgot, but I do have a heat blanket that I no longer use on the bed since it's warm out now. Is this something I can use for my seeds? Would it be fine to just put the plastic container carrying the seed pots on top of the blanket at a low setting?

arisachu
Cool Member
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 2:57 am
Location: Athens, GA

[img]https://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y15/UntilStrawberrySherbet/plantsetup.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y15/UntilStrawberrySherbet/plantsetup2.jpg[/img]
^Am I doing this right?


Earlier I left my plants unattended and came back to see them on the floor. :( Minimal damage was done, but one of my brussels sprouts did lose some soil, and because I was nervous about the seed being lost, I planted another one just to be on the safe side.
You'll see one of the culprits, but I'm pretty sure it was the other, bigger one that destroyed them.[/img]

Odd Duck
Senior Member
Posts: 114
Joined: Wed Nov 17, 2010 8:34 pm
Location: DFW, TX

I had to build a cat-proof cage to protect my seedlings/seed starting station from the cats. We used 2x4's we ripped down to 2x2 and 1/2"x2 plus 1/2" hail screen. We sandwiched the hail screen between the 2x2's and the 1/2x2's. We made a frame that fits up against the wall and around a metal plant stand DH made for me years ago. There are hinged doors that open to the room that latch closed with a hook and eye down low plus up high - out of kitty reach. The whole thing is attached to the wall on either side of the window, with another pair of hook and eye sets, to keep them from tipping it over onto themselves if they do try to climb.

The whole thing is shaped kind of like a giant fireplace screen. For your small scale, you might be able to set up something similar like a cardboard screen or even find an old fireplace screen at a yard sale or on freecycle. You would need to brace it somehow to fight off most cats. They will try to push in from the side, but aren't too likely to try to jump over if they can't see the other side or if they can't balance on the top of it.As long as you don't have anything around it that they can get on top of and look down into the seedling area, they aren't too likely to mess with it if they can't push in from the side.
Sharon
USDA zone 7b/8a (depending on the year and microclimate :-)), AHS heat zone 8-9, Eastern Crosstimbers/Grand Prairie ecozones

arisachu
Cool Member
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 2:57 am
Location: Athens, GA

I'll definitely give that a try. I'm sure there are plenty of places around here where I can find a large cardboard box, so that shouldn't be an issue. I had intended to just leave the door to that room closed during the day, but I'm pretty sure this makes them sad and whiny, so this is a MUCH better option. I'd wonder how I could attach it from the left side since the window edge is blocked by the bed and the cats do like to prowl the ledge. They also can somehow (using their cat-ninja powers) get up onto the nearly 5 ft high dresser top and could potentially see in through there, but I doubt this would be an issue. Their really too lazy at that point. (Although the cat that I believe to be the culprit is kind of special and likes to jump into boxes and other large containers seemingly without prior knowledge of what's already inside, so a concern of mine would be that it would actually ENCOURAGE her rascally behavior.) Perhaps a screen that they can see through might be best for this cat.

arisachu
Cool Member
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 2:57 am
Location: Athens, GA

Yay I had a good idea~ haha :lol: I've been using one of those automatic turn-off ones and going in every once in a while to turn it back on for the time being, but I'm going to change to blanket now that I've gotten assurance that it is indeed okay for the plants to use it. We have TONS of plastic bags, so I'll be able to line with plastic great (So glad we save all the plastic shopping bags). Do things like leaving the lamp and heating pads on all day run up your elec bill very much? Since it's spring we've been using the regular thermostat less and just letting the fresh air do it's thing, so it's less of an issue, but I don't want to run up a huge bill on the one Georgia month a year it's supposed to be low lol.

The cats are very prone to knocking things over haha. I try to buy them fancy toys that make noise and are fun, but instead they just like to harass mommy. :lol:

arisachu
Cool Member
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 2:57 am
Location: Athens, GA

Today I woke up to find two of my brussels sprouts had sprouted (YAY life!).

Thus leads to my question: How long do they stay inside at my windowsill? Should I be moving them outside? It's still cold outside and I don't have any sort of make-shift greenhouse. Are they okay inside until they grow a little bigger?
Also roots are supposed to be fuzzy, right? One of them has some fuzzy white stem sort of thing coming out the bottom, this is supposed to happen, right? :P

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