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jasbo
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New to indoor seeding. Can you double-check my plan?

I have some pepper seedlings just starting to come up indoors, sprouting in trays on a medical heating pad. I know that soon they'll need light, but won't be ready for cold. I'm thinking about putting them outside in a mini-greenhouse during the day so they can have both light and some warmth. Outside temperature will probably vary between 40 and 60 for the next month or so but should be warmer in this cheapo contraption. Can anybody see any flaws in this?

Also, I'm figuring since the seedlings are now growing in those little Jiffy peat pellet things, they'll need to move up to a real pot some time between now and when they're set out (probably around May 1). Any idea on the timing of the uppotting? Should I just wait until the seedlings really need a bigger pot or replant them as soon as they can take it? I'll probably just put them in jumbo pony pack containers.

Thanks in advance.

Jim

wordwiz
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Not sure what you mean by a mini-greenhouse, but if all four sides and the top and bottom is enclosed, your temps on a sunny day will be in triple digits, even it the air temp is 50. You can cook seedlings in an hour or two, especially if they are not accustomed to the heat/sun.

Mike

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rainbowgardener
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As soon as the seed leaves are out of the soil, they need light! Once they have true leaves, take them off the heat pad. They will be sturdier plants if not babied too much.

Agree with wiz, re they need ventilation in an enclosed greenhouse thing.
Otherwise once your temps are around 50 you can just start hardening them off, without the greenhouse. You want them adapted to your climate. Just don't do it too suddenly. Start them off with just a few hours, in a protected location, not direct sun the first time. Marlingardener gave a nice description of hardening off here:

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=185223&highlight=hardening#185223
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If its 40 to 50 all day i would set them out in indirect light all day! and if the temp is going below 32 bring them in. You can leave them out all the time if its above 40 just keep them out of direct sunlight for awhile! and don't let them dry out so water from bottm!
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jasbo
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Thanks for the help, everyone. Lots to think about here.

Mike, my mini-greenhouse is a thing about 4 feet high, three feet wide and one foot deep. It's open at the bottom, so probably will not cook that hot. It also has a pair of zippers running down the front, which will allow for some circulation. I'll put a thermometer in there tomorrow and see what the numbers are. Thanks for the warning.

Also, I was under the impression that after the seedlings were up they would benefit from direct sunlight. If not, there's a nice window I could put them in that has plenty of diffused sunlight. At this point, I have no leaves of any kind, just the bowed stem on a few indicating they'll pop out in a day or two.

I saw marlingardener's hardening off discussion earlier and liked it. I figure that's more for mid-April, though, if I'm not putting these guys out until early May (last frost).

Jim

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Yes your seedlings will need a lot of light and a window sill with diffused light won't make it. Either supplemental lighting or sunshine will be needed.

The reference to indirect light is for the hardening off process. I didn't quite understand at first what your situation was. When plants have been growing indoors under lights, they need a bit of transition to full sun. The light we can provide indoors, even with fluorescent tubes a few inches over their heads, is so much less than sunshine, that they have to get used to it a little bit gradually. The hardening off isn't just about temps, it's about the whole outdoors experience - breezes, direct sun, temperature. The worst thing you can do in hardening off is bring babied seedlings out into a windy day.
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jasbo
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I'm still kind of curious as to when to move these plants up to some bigger accommodations. Should I wait until there are two sets of true leaves? They're in those little peat pellets now, and I understand that's not a good home for long. I'm figuring I need to snip away the "netting" on the outside and put them in something bigger, right?

Also, I took them out for some sun yesterday and they seemed to benefit, but I'm still unclear whether they should get direct or indirect sun. It seems to me some people are saying direct and some are saying indirect. Maybe I'm just misunderstanding?

Thanks for the help, everyone.

Jim

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Halfway
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jasbo wrote:I'm still kind of curious as to when to move these plants up to some bigger accommodations. Should I wait until there are two sets of true leaves? They're in those little peat pellets now, and I understand that's not a good home for long. I'm figuring I need to snip away the "netting" on the outside and put them in something bigger, right?

Also, I took them out for some sun yesterday and they seemed to benefit, but I'm still unclear whether they should get direct or indirect sun. It seems to me some people are saying direct and some are saying indirect. Maybe I'm just misunderstanding?

Thanks for the help, everyone.

Jim
They will be ok in the pellets until the roots start making their way outside the peat.

As was already stated, get them under light as quickly as possible once germinated and if under flourescents, keep them within an inch of the bulbs.

A slight breeze from a fan will help prevent damping off and will increase the strength of the stems.
Last edited by Halfway on Mon Mar 07, 2011 12:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
Zone 4a.

wordwiz
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jasbo wrote:Also, I took them out for some sun yesterday and they seemed to benefit, but I'm still unclear whether they should get direct or indirect sun. It seems to me some people are saying direct and some are saying indirect. Maybe I'm just misunderstanding?

Thanks for the help, everyone.

Jim
The suggestion for indirect light was at the beginning of their outdoor trips. It can also be direct sunlight but not for more than an hour to three the first couple of days, lengthening it every couple of days until they can stay out all day long.

The same for a breeze/wind. When they first go out, a strong gust can snap them in two. But as they build their stems, they get stronger and stronger.

Mike

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jasbo
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wordwiz wrote: The suggestion for indirect light was at the beginning of their outdoor trips. It can also be direct sunlight but not for more than an hour to three the first couple of days, lengthening it every couple of days until they can stay out all day long.

The same for a breeze/wind. When they first go out, a strong gust can snap them in two. But as they build their stems, they get stronger and stronger.

Mike
Thanks, Mike. Now I get it. It's been cloudy enough the past couple of days that I didn't need to worry about direct sun anyway.

BTW, the mini-greenhouse I mentioned is kind of like this, only smaller:
https://gurneys.com/4-tier-mini-greenhouse/p/81234/

That's where I'm putting the trays of seedlings for their few hours of light each day. It seems like a good way to get light without worrying about the rain or the wind. When we get to some real sun, I won't put them in there anymore for fear of cooking them.

Jim

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