Blueberry
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Transplanting cold season vegetables

Hi everyone,

Hubby and I finished building some raised beds and I'm gearing up to plant. This will be my first attempt at growing cold season vegetables. The Vegetablegarden.info planting guide for my area - zone 8 - shows I can plant peas, cabbage and spinach starting 1/15. The guide also shows I can start collards on 2/1 and broccoli on 2/15. According to a cold temp tolerance chart put out by Purdue, these are all hardy vegetables. I'm guessing collards and broccoli need to be planted later due to soil temps slowing germination. Right?

If some frost hardy vegetables have to be started later because they just don't germinate well in cooler soil, would it be possible to start them in a flat and transplant? What I mean by that is can I get the seeds to germinate and transplant them into the garden right away before the plant has any true leaves? Would that work? The plants I have in mind are cabbage, collards and broccoli.

https://www.thevegetablegarden.info/resources/planting-schedules/zones-7-8-planting-schedule

https://www.hort.purdue.edu/ext/fallgarden.html

Thanks for your help!
:D
Pam

You can bury a lot of troubles digging in the dirt. ~Author Unknown

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rainbowgardener
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You can start the collard, broccoli, cabbage seeds indoors under lights. I don't grow collard, but I start broccoli and cabbage seeds indoors every year. But I wouldn't try transplanting them until they are a little bigger. Tiny seedlings without true leaves or with only one pair of true leaves are very vulnerable to drying out, damping out, etc etc -- they have very little root system for gathering water and nutrients and very little leaf surface for gathering energy.

But if you start your seeds indoors and grow them to transplant size, then you will need to harden them off. That is you can't just plunk them directly from indoors to full sun, changing temps, wind etc. So you need to bring them out to some protected spot away from direct sun and wind. Bring them out just for a few hours the first day, then increasing. Once they are out all the time, then they can be moved into less protected spots until they are ready to plant. This process should take a week or so, depending on weather.
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Bobberman
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I would start them now in a covered cold frame. The plastic would allow the cold frame to warm and start the seeds. I would also put something that heats the soil under the soil in the cold frame like manure or a nitogen rich compost mix! Thin and transplant the crops and use the cold frame as a raised bed leaving some plants in the cold frame as the weather warms!
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Blueberry
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Thanks for the great advice!

I started a few seeds in flats indoors on a heating pad. Once they were up, I put them outside on the patio. Weather has been pretty mild so I figured it was better for the plants to live outside instead of having to deal with being brought outside during the day (I don't have grow lights yet) and back inside at night. They get a few hours of morning sun and indirect light for the rest of the day. Seem to be doing well so far. Glad I asked about transplanting or I'd have prematurely transplanted them today :oops:

Love the idea of a cold frame. Pretty sure I've exceeded my "please build me one of these honey" limit with the raised beds. But, I should be able to add some hoops and plastic to my raised beds without too much trouble.

Thanks again for your help!
Pam

You can bury a lot of troubles digging in the dirt. ~Author Unknown

Bobberman
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Raised beds can be used as cold frames early in the season! Just make a cover even with small sticks or pegs holding up the plastic in the middle! Double plastic seperated by rope in the middle o or old hose nailed to each side of the raised beds similar to a short hoop house! The one inch pvc wil also work with a hole drillend on the ends with a nail holding it! Once its watered good it can be covered for 2 to 3 weeks without water because it looses ittle moisture. Moisture collects on the plastic and drops back to the ground inside the hoop cold frame!
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Blueberry
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Thanks Bobberman! This sound really easy - I'm going to try it :)
Pam

You can bury a lot of troubles digging in the dirt. ~Author Unknown

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jal_ut
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I plant peas, spinach, carrots and all the cole crops the same day directly in the garden. Here the time for planting these cold hardy crops is early April. Be prepared to deal with the bugs. The bugs like the cole crops, and you need to do something or they will eat the tiny seedlings before they even show their faces. Whatever you use as a bug deterrent, put some down the day you plant and weekly until the plants get some size.

I don't have any trouble with germination on the cole crops. Cole crops = cabbage, broccoli, turnips, cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts, kale, rutabaga and mustard.

Yes, it is a common practice to start them in flats or pots. They transplant well. I just prefer to avoid the fussing around and direct seed them. I often transplant some of those that come up too close together.
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Blueberry
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Thanks Jal_ut!

I went ahead and direct seeded a few cabbage, collards and broccoli yesterday. If they germinate, great. If not, I have transplants growing :) Thanks for the heads up on how buggy cole crops are. I had no idea. Did some research and have a game plan for cardboard "collars", row covers and sticky traps. Sure does give me a new appreciation for those who produce our food. :)


jal_ut wrote:I plant peas, spinach, carrots and all the cole crops the same day directly in the garden. Here the time for planting these cold hardy crops is early April. Be prepared to deal with the bugs. The bugs like the cole crops, and you need to do something or they will eat the tiny seedlings before they even show their faces. Whatever you use as a bug deterrent, put some down the day you plant and weekly until the plants get some size.

I don't have any trouble with germination on the cole crops. Cole crops = cabbage, broccoli, turnips, cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts, kale, rutabaga and mustard.

Yes, it is a common practice to start them in flats or pots. They transplant well. I just prefer to avoid the fussing around and direct seed them. I often transplant some of those that come up too close together.
Pam

You can bury a lot of troubles digging in the dirt. ~Author Unknown

erlyberd
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Agree, start them inside for quicker germination times. Cold frames with cold soil temps take forever to germinate seeds. Make sure to make you work count and use cut worm collars esp if using coldframes where things have a way of holding on to life under the warmth of a few leaves.

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