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Seed and seedling questions

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Seed and seedling questions

Post  Tris on 3/9/2013, 2:29 pm

Hi again Smile
Ok so I bought seeds, I have carrots, kale, romaine, spinach, collards, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley and mint. I also have big boy tomato seedlings, about 3in tall-ish. I haven't made my beds yet, will do it this week. I have everything but the vermaculite, which I can get medium now or I have to wait until the first week of April for the coarse. The last frost is supposed to be April 10th ish.
Should I plant before the first frost? Should I make do with the medium vermaculite? My tomato seedlings, are they going to out grow the little seed containers they came in? Can I put them outside this week?(it will be high 50's all week) Should I start the other seeds now? I don't have any set up for them, no lights or seed trays. Would the hoop and plastic setup protect them from the frost?
In setting up my trellis, I know it would normally be on the north side, but my backyard is wide open and gets a lot of sun, I'd guess at least 8-9 hours. Should I put the trellis on another side to block some early morning sun? Or would I just use the hoops and some cheesecloth or something to shade it?
I'm sorry for all the stupid questions, it should seem so simple but I am really garden dumb.
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Re: Seed and seedling questions

Post  plantoid on 3/9/2013, 2:38 pm

In the book shown below in my strap line , pages 265 to 268 give the days to sow before last frost and how many days you can sow to the first frost arriving .

I don't know if those pages tally with what you have on your Kindle
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Re: Seed and seedling questions

Post  Tris on 3/9/2013, 2:43 pm

Tomatoes...

And if you want to take a look at this, I'm trying to plan it all out?
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Re: Seed and seedling questions

Post  Tris on 3/9/2013, 2:53 pm

@plantoid wrote:In the book shown below in my strap line , pages 265 to 268 give the days to sow before last frost and how many days you can sow to the first frost arriving .

I don't know if those pages tally with what you have on your Kindle
Yeah that's no help I have locations not pages. I've read through the book and haven't found answers to my specific questions.
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Re: Seed and seedling questions

Post  RoOsTeR on 3/9/2013, 3:20 pm

@Tris wrote:
@plantoid wrote:In the book shown below in my strap line , pages 265 to 268 give the days to sow before last frost and how many days you can sow to the first frost arriving .

I don't know if those pages tally with what you have on your Kindle
Yeah that's no help I have locations not pages. I've read through the book and haven't found answers to my specific questions.

I guess I don't really understand your reply? Seems your post was asking about when you should plant? Plantoid was correct. The tables in the book are very useful for when you should start.

Should I start the other seeds now? I don't have any set up for them, no lights or seed trays. Would the hoop and plastic setup protect them from the frost?

As far as location, you typically want your trellis on the north. Planting locations in your boxes depend on height and shade etc of everything around it and ability to harvest. Also depends on the time of the season.
Take your bed with the tomatoes and collards. For early in the season I think that looks good. Lettuce and things that you will harvest a lot are right up front and easily accessed. Later in the season though when temps warm up, and your lettuce has bolted or been harvested, you could try to plant some further in the bed in shade of some taller plants like bush beans perhaps. What do you have planned for the squares you have lettuce and spinach etc. in after your hot weather sets in and you've harvested all your lettuce, turnips, spinach and possibly collards?

And yeah for turnips!

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Re: Seed and seedling questions

Post  plantoid on 3/9/2013, 3:44 pm

I think Rooster has missed what you've said Tris
The charts are located at the back of the book.

Use kindle's search facility for the book /documents , put in " outdoor planting schedules " and see if it takes you to the lists .

Looking at your planting chart.

I'd put the mint in it's own container , for it is very very invasive and will send out roots and seeds to invade the whole box. if the container is a 12 inch dia tub it will give you lots of mint during the year , two square feet is a large amount to grow unless your into distilling it
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Re: Seed and seedling questions

Post  RoOsTeR on 3/9/2013, 4:14 pm

@plantoid wrote:I think Rooster has missed what you've said Tris
The charts are located at the back of the book.

Use kindle's search facility for the book /documents , put in " outdoor planting schedules " and see if it takes you to the lists .

Looking at your planting chart.

I'd put the mint in it's own container , for it is very very invasive and will send out roots and seeds to invade the whole box. if the container is a 12 inch dia tub it will give you lots of mint during the year , two square feet is a large amount to grow unless your into distilling it

Lol, guess I bunged that one up huh Razz I didn't realize tris was referring to kindle location tongue

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Re: Seed and seedling questions

Post  Coelli on 3/9/2013, 4:53 pm

Gotta second plantoid's comment about the mint - you should grow that in a separate container or you will soon have nothing BUT mint. Smile
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Re: Seed and seedling questions

Post  Tris on 3/9/2013, 5:19 pm

Ah ha!! Thank you Plant, that is exactly what I was looking for.
Am I going to need to replant or uplant the tomatoes? Looks like I can't plant them until after the last frost, which is about a month from now. Or can I plant them and cover them in plastic for a mock greenhouse affect?

And good point about mint, I'll double the kale I think Smile I can also put some of the more shade needing plants closer to the house in the 2x4 if that sounds like a good idea?
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Re: Seed and seedling questions

Post  plantoid on 3/9/2013, 5:47 pm

Starting off toms with seeds the charts indicate sow six weeks indoors before last frost and grow them on as starts indoors
hegde your bets sow five weeks before last frost ???

Toms are hit hard with frost , any temp below 50 o F makes then stutter quite a bit .

Last year I used a massive lit 4 inch dia 8 or 9 inche tall scented/ fancy candles in the glasshouse almost 24/7 from the begining of April to our last frost date ( 28 May usually ) to keep it above frost point and to give a dryer form of carbon dioxide to the plants .
I also used two CFL bulbs in holders screwed to a lump of wood to give 14 watts of heat 24/7 running through an electric shock protection device at the plug end of the cable.

I keep buying massive candles at garage sales etc during February / March when everyone disposes of their unwanted christmas presents Laughing
I got them for pennies usually, specifically for this purpose , last count I had seven of them and one 1/4 used one .

Thinking slightly out the box
Why not try and replant the toms in bigger pots and put them in a cooler place inside the home on the north side of the home out of sunlight or reflected sunlight so that they will slow grow .

Just remember to keep them correctly watered , give the occasional liquid tomato feed and rotate each pot by 1/3 each day . Re pot as required and if needed prune the plant a bit , it will still grow somewhere even if you nip the top out

Best look up caring for your tomatoes or similar if you don't know how to nip out the unwanted bits to train the plants
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Re: Seed and seedling questions

Post  Tris on 3/10/2013, 10:12 am

So the plastic over the box won't defend against the last frost?
What about the vermaculite, should I get medium so I can sow most of my seeds now, or wait and miss my window for a few of them and get coarse?

I don't have a greenhouse.

Asking for personal experience here was looking up Tom care Smile SFG tends to take care of their matos a different way than most, so in addition to the books information, I was looking for opinions and real life experience.
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Re: Seed and seedling questions

Post  RoOsTeR on 3/10/2013, 12:10 pm

Tris, I used plastic last year and yes, it will/can protect against frosts. I used covered wagon style and it's incredibly easy to do. I don't have any pics of mine I don't think, but there are plenty of examples on the forum.
Here is one:
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t6690-finally-doing-the-covered-wagon-thing?highlight=covered+wagon

I also used plastic over my Carrot Week box last year. It worked great!


You will need to be mindful of your outside temps once the sun comes up. You can easily cook your little plants under the cover Sad

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Re: Seed and seedling questions

Post  Tris on 3/10/2013, 12:26 pm

Perfect! I think that's what I'll do then, I'll have to harden off my seedlings this week, and then I can plant em next week Smile
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