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SPierce
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My new seedlings got forced outside

So, basically, my roommates parents took offense at the fact that I had a room closed off to the cats to grow my seedlings in, so without a chance to appeal i've been told to put them somewhere else, no other choice.

So, my brand new gourd and pumpkin seedlings essentially got pushed outside, with no place inside the house to go. It's 54 degrees, and they're still babies. The only other option is the basement, where they'll be at the same temperature as outside, and will be in darkness all day. At least outside they got some light.

Is there anything i can do to help them along, or are they doomed? I tried to put some plastic wrap over them, but i highly doubt that's really going to do anything. None of my gardening stuff is allowed to be in view of the street, so I have to move all of that as well.

Ugh. :(

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Move
If a disease doesn't kill them and a bug doesn't eat them there may be something left for you.
Zone 47 Sector C

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SPierce
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johnny123 wrote:Move
I'm working on it- but i have at least a month before I can go anywhere. Anything for me to do in the meantime?

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applestar
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Get those cone-shaped useless-for-tomato cages, put them securely into the ground and put your potted seedlings inside. Now get large clear or white plastic bags and cover the tomato cages with them. You know, large store bags, dry cleaning bags, etc. Minimum printing would be better IMHO.

White bags, actually, will avoid direct sun while allowing maximum light and may be better than clear.

If it gets REALLY cold like in the 30's, don't just put the bag over it but wrap it around the cage and tape or clip in place so there are two layers of plastic, and use a second bag to cover the top. I just use bunch of clothes pins to clip the bags to the cages.

Depending on the temperature create ventilation: If it's minimum 40's but we're talking 60's-70's during the day, then I think you can just slit the bottom of the bag open and close it up at night. If we're talking much colder like 40's-50's cut large triangles out of the corners of the bottom of the bag, which will be at the top, you understand. If you have a solid bag bottom/top, it will collect water and collapse when it rains so be sure to punch/cut drain holes.

You're basically making mini-greenhouses for each plant.

Note that it can actually get REALLY hot in there during the day in direct sun. The way I did it was to get some cheap peel and stick thermometers and checked the temperature first thing in the morning when it's coldest, and through the day in the sun and cloudy days. You don't want it to get into the 100's.

On sunny hot days, the soil will dry out much faster so watch out for that as well.
Last edited by applestar on Tue May 17, 2011 1:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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SPierce
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applestar wrote:Get those cone-shaped useless-for-tomato cages, put them securely into the ground and put your potted seedlings inside. Now get large clear or white plastic bags and cover the tomato cages with them. You know, large store bags, dry cleaning bags, etc. Minimum printing would be better IMHO.

White bags, actually, will avoid direct sun while allowing maximum light and may be better than clear.

If it gets REALLY cold like in the 30's, don't just put the bag over it but wrap it around the cage and tape or clip in place so there is two layers of plastic, and use a second bag to cover the top. I just use bunch of clothes pins to clip the bags to the cages.

Depending on the temperature create ventilation: If it's minimum 40's but we're talking 60's-70's during the day, then I think you can just slit the bottom of the bag open and close it up at night. If we're talking much colder like 40's-50's cut large triangles out of the corners of the bottom of the bag, which will be at the top, you understand.

You're basically making mini-greenhouses for each plant.

Note that it can actually get REALLY hot in there during the day in direct sun. The way I did it was to get some cheap peel and stick thermometers and checked the temperature first thing in the morning when it's coldest, and through the day in the sun and cloudy days. You don't want it to get into the 100's.

On sunny hot days, the soil will dry out much faster so watch out for that as well.
This is a wonderful idea. Thank you so much! Right now i felt so horrible about leaving them outside, i've moved them into my car. This is a much safer solution for my seedlings :D

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And if you can keep the temps in the car from getting overly hot, that's another kind of greenhouse. :)

Just don't forget to water them, now that your previous routine has been so completely disrupted. :(

Cynthia H.
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SPierce
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cynthia_h wrote:And if you can keep the temps in the car from getting overly hot, that's another kind of greenhouse. :)

Just don't forget to water them, now that your previous routine has been so completely disrupted. :(

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9
I won't forget them at all! I'm so overly protective I don't know how my first set of seedlings even made it through their hardening off process! Just more along the lines of heartbroken, and slightly offended, to be told that I have no where to put my starts, no where to plant them, and that there's nothing I can do. It's so upsetting.

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What lousy people your roommate's parents are. They could probably figure out for themselves that the plants were a temporary thing and that your roommate would benefit once they started producing later in the summer. It sounds more like a control thing than a cat thing to me. Did you hear them say this, or did your roommate pass it on? (I'm a suspicious person :evil: )

What's your last frost date? I know you are planning a trip, so Applestar's method might not work for you, depending upon the length of your trip. We are very close to our last frost date up here. I would just leave them outside somewhere, sheltered from the wind and rain, while I was gone. You could also plant them if they are ready. Put their lives in the hands of the fates.

I'm putting my seedlings out each day now as soon as the temperatures hit 40. They went outside at 6 AM this morning. Right now it's 53, and I still think they are happier out there than they are in the house.

BTW, Thursday's forecast high up here is now 47 :cry:
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SPierce
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stella1751 wrote:What lousy people your roommate's parents are. They could probably figure out for themselves that the plants were a temporary thing and that your roommate would benefit once they started producing later in the summer. It sounds more like a control thing than a cat thing to me. Did you hear them say this, or did your roommate pass it on? (I'm a suspicious person :evil: )

What's your last frost date? I know you are planning a trip, so Applestar's method might not work for you, depending upon the length of your trip. We are very close to our last frost date up here. I would just leave them outside somewhere, sheltered from the wind and rain, while I was gone. You could also plant them if they are ready. Put their lives in the hands of the fates.

I'm putting my seedlings out each day now as soon as the temperatures hit 40. They went outside at 6 AM this morning. Right now it's 53, and I still think they are happier out there than they are in the house.

BTW, Thursday's forecast high up here is now 47 :cry:
That's what I can't figure out. I gave my roommates parents some starter plants and everything, and they're in good hands there. Both of his parents are great people, and I like them both! They are gardeners as much as I am. They know just as well as I do re: the gardening stuff around the outside of the house.

I can stand the lecture on us cleaning up more (they lectured my roommate on it, then he passed it onto me. He wouldn't lie to me, as I asked him first before putting those plants in the front room. I just don't know... i gave notice that I was going to move on, and was starting to find a place in which i could have a bigger garden, but everyones trying to convince me to stay. I'm so confused-- but my seedlings are still homeless for right now. In the car they stay- and I guess i work start working on hardening them off properly so they can be planted out, though they're a bit young for it.

So sad to hear your temps are dropping again. ugh. i hope you can finally get yours out!

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kimbledawn
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I think applestar gave you good advice on the plants but I am confused about the place. Does it belongg to your roommates parents. If you are of age and can afford it, I would move on. If you are paying rent then there should be a certain level of freedom.jmho, I hope everything works out :)
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SPierce
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kimbledawn wrote:I think applestar gave you good advice on the plants but I am confused about the place. Does it belongg to your roommates parents. If you are of age and can afford it, I would move on. If you are paying rent then there should be a certain level of freedom.jmho, I hope everything works out :)
It is my roommates, and I am paying rent, but his parents have always been involved in the care/grooming of the house.

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If the temps are in the 50s, it's warm enough to leave them outside, uncovered. I might start with a few hours a day in direct sun, but if they have been sitting in a car where the sun can hit them, and they are still alive and kicking, they are probably ready for a full day. The only plant you might need to bring in if the temps are going to stay above 40 overnight would be basil. I had mine out when it was 36 and though they had a couple of leaves show a bit of a burn, but no big deal.

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SPierce
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wordwiz wrote:If the temps are in the 50s, it's warm enough to leave them outside, uncovered. I might start with a few hours a day in direct sun, but if they have been sitting in a car where the sun can hit them, and they are still alive and kicking, they are probably ready for a full day. The only plant you might need to bring in if the temps are going to stay above 40 overnight would be basil. I had mine out when it was 36 and though they had a couple of leaves show a bit of a burn, but no big deal.

Mike
They're already used to direct sun- but they grew up inside the house. is it OK to put them out that quickly?

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As soon as the majority of the seeds in my trays germinated, meaning 3-5 days, I moved them to the greenhouse. I've not lost a single plant because of getting them out there. Lost a few because I didn't keep them watered and it can get much hotter inside a GH than outside (110+ degrees on a warm, sunny day!).

Actually, the sooner you get them outside after they germinate the better. If they start out under bright sunshine, they do not need to get acclimated to it!

Mike

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SPierce
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wordwiz wrote:As soon as the majority of the seeds in my trays germinated, meaning 3-5 days, I moved them to the greenhouse. I've not lost a single plant because of getting them out there. Lost a few because I didn't keep them watered and it can get much hotter inside a GH than outside (110+ degrees on a warm, sunny day!).

Actually, the sooner you get them outside after they germinate the better. If they start out under bright sunshine, they do not need to get acclimated to it!

Mike
Understood. Thank you! I guess I am going to leave them in my car tonight, then move them outside tomorrow in this rainy weather. Rain. Ugh!

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I love rain water. I haul it from a garbage can to my GH and use it to water my plants. No chlorine, fluoride, calcium. PH is good. If the plants are in containers with holes in the bottom, the potting mix will let excess water drain, after the roots get their fill.

Rain might keep us from getting into the garden but it won't hurt seedlings!

Mike

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if they are "babies", then they obviously aren't that old. If you have room, plant some more in pots or in ground and have them outside from the beginning. They will grow when they are ready to grow. Seedlings are tougher than a lot of people think. I mean, they aren't going to survive an ice storm. Not insulting you for asking at all, but for the low cost and the young age of your seedlings, it will be a cheap backup plan. Good luck.

At least its not 35 degrees and you don't have 12" seedlings that are a month old!

On a side note I want to share something that made me chuckle. I was at a buddies house the other day and we were staring at his garden, of course bickering and busting each others chops over the usual..."I will pick the first mater", "My taters are way bigger than yours", "My twine pole bean trellis works way better than your wire one". haha.....anyway, about a half hour before we noticed that where he had his corn this year, there were volunteer plants popping up all around. Apparently he timed his watermelons wrong last year and ended up with more than he could give away. So many rotted away....and were coming up this year....and the plants were healthy looking. I swear not a half hour after we looked and discussed the volunteers popping up, he was giving me this big explanation about how he waits til the last week of may to plant his WM's, and I had planted mine way too early. I pointed toward his corn and said, "obviously not, because you have 200 watermelons that look real good Ed!" The argument ended there......I stopped by this morning and he showed me where he transplanted about 20 of the plants, and tilled the rest under. I told Ed, "Ed, aint it a lil early for watermelons??" :twisted:

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SPierce
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Ehheeh @ the story :D

And thanks everyone for your input. There will be no more seed starting for me, as seedlings inside the house, and seedlings on the front porch in pots, apparently don't look all that neat and need to be limited to the back of the house. Grrr.

Either way, they're outside for their first full day, today, so we'll see how they are when I get back- and how they survive when I get back!

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Without sounding too serious, let me just say you have every right to your hobbies and interests and people in your life need to respect that.

When my DH starts complaining about my gardening projects, I tell him to go fishing more and offer worms out of my compost piles and worm bin :lol:

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applestar wrote:Without sounding too serious, let me just say you have every right to your hobbies and interests and people in your life need to respect that.

When my DH starts complaining about my gardening projects, I tell him to go fishing more and offer worms out of my compost piles and worm bin :lol:
Have no fear- I know, and that was part of my reason for giving my notice and trying to move, but my roommate loves having me there and really doesn't want me to move. His parents denied having an issue with having me there, so now it's a waiting game to see. I can't really address the issue without him getting caught in the middle, and i can't do that to him.

Yes, there are a few bags of soil outside, maybe a tomato cage or too, and a few 18 gallon bins with plants in them, but it's a home that's lived in like a home. My stuff isn't nearly as distracting as the house next door with all the kids toys in the yards. But, well, i guess we'll find out next season as to if it's still going to be a problem!

I guess the thing is, i want to expand- i want to have rain barrels, and a bigger garden, so i can plant more things- i would love to have some hens for eggs, etc. I just don't have the room to do this here- I'm hoping to find a place nearby my current where i can expand as much as I want, without having to worry!

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If you do have to stay there longer than expected (say, until harvest?), I hope these people don't expect to EAT any of your hard-won veggies. :twisted:

You might start preparing by checking out a copy of The Bountiful Container (McGee & Stuckey) from your local library. Those little seedlings will need bigger homes soon, if everything works out, and permanent homes, if your housing plans don't....

Cynthia H.
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SPierce
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cynthia_h wrote:If you do have to stay there longer than expected (say, until harvest?), I hope these people don't expect to EAT any of your hard-won veggies. :twisted:

You might start preparing by checking out a copy of The Bountiful Container (McGee & Stuckey) from your local library. Those little seedlings will need bigger homes soon, if everything works out, and permanent homes, if your housing plans don't....

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9
I think I'm going to take a chance, and plant them in my current garden boxes. It's going to be crowded, but i've got no other choice! Hopefully everything by then will be tall enough, the crawling plants won't crawl up them to much and can crawl on the fence instead..

Will pick up a copy of the book, too :D

and my roommate isn't a veggie fan :shock:

so it's mostly mine, but maybe i'll get him to eat a few along the way. I never thought i'd have to choose between housing, and gardening. I love this place and it has everything, but...

cynthia_h
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SPierce wrote: I never thought i'd have to choose between housing, and gardening. I love this place and it has everything, but...
Yeah. That sure came out of the blue, didn't it? Ka-BAM. :shock:

Cynthia

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SPierce
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cynthia_h wrote:
SPierce wrote: I never thought i'd have to choose between housing, and gardening. I love this place and it has everything, but...
Yeah. That sure came out of the blue, didn't it? Ka-BAM. :shock:

Cynthia
So, so hard :(

Got home tonight, and they didn't look too good. I hid them in the bathtub of one of the bathrooms no one goes into to rest, so i guess i'll see what they look like in the morning~

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As dorky as it sounds, everyone please keep my little guys in your prayers! I took a look at both of them today and though not fully grown or even close, both of them were already close to root bound- so i had to put 2 out of the 6 affected seedlings in the ground- in a place i didn't expect to have to put them, i don't have their space ready yet, and they aren't really hardened enough to go out yet, either.

For better or worse, I'm going to find out whether or not i have pumpkins this year when I get back! The rest i put in a white bag, as suggested, in hopes they make it through!

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