Starting from seeds. South California.

I have started seeds for tomatoes,dill, cucumbers, and lettuce. I did it in my house, in the kitchen. I have a rack and while the seeds are just in very small paper cups it all takes insignificant space. But I can see that in a 3-4 weeks or a month, there will be bigger plants. Also I can see that by the end of October, beginning of Novembere it could be late to plant these seedlings outside. Even in South California. Correct? Usually we do not have temperature below freezing in San Diego, but still it is pretty cold and I would expect, plants will die. At least most of them.
So, I am thinking that I will transfer them to bigger containers, where they can grow somewhere till end of January or February; whatever is the time to plant in San Diego after winter. I will see it when the seedlings will start to be sold in local Home Depot. Then I guess, it is safe to plant outside.
So, here is my question. I do not think I will have enough place in my kitchen or somewhere in the house to keep small pots with seedlings during the winter in warm and lighted place.
Will it work if I puthem outside and just cover with plastic. Would it be warm enough? Any advice on how to do it cheap enough so I do not build any permanent structures? And also not to spend a lot of money and time?
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<<> Any advice on how to do it cheap enough so I do not build anypermanent

Will it work if I put a container outside. Take a transparent plastic bag fro supermarket groceries. Stick a wooden stick into container. Cover with plastic the container. So it will form like a small house. Tie it up on the bottom around container with rubber band? Does it sound like a good idea? Mark wrote:

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Mark wrote:

Mark,
Lettuce is a cool-season crop. You should be able to put these in the ground, and harvest greens over the winter. Famers all over Southern and Central California supply most of the United States' winter greens.
Toamtoes and cucumbers need the heat. You might keep the vines alive indoors over the winter, or outdoors in a cold frame, but they will be cranky and they may not make it. It would probably make sense for you to start new plants about the first of February, with the intention of putting them outdoors in March.
I've never grown dill, so I don't have any advice for you there.
Good luck.
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Mark wrote:

Tomatoes and cucumbers are summer plants in SoCal. The lettuce will do fine all fall and winter long.
[snip]

Correct. You're wasting your time and effort with them.
Usually we do not have temperature below

It isn't that they will die, it's that there is no chance for them to get the heat and length of days they need to produce fruit.

There's no point in that. You'll have old, leggy, confused plants next spring. Wait five months and start again. Then you'll have young, healthy seedlings to transplant. -aem
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thanks a lot aem wrote:

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thanks a lot aem wrote:

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Mark wrote:

no they won't. In my experience, the only plants that truly suffer from cold (mid 40s) but not freezing temps when they are young are: basil, peppers, melons, okra, watermelons (eggplants and sweet potatoes probably do suffer, but I never tried them). Once they are established, however, they don't care. I just picked a pound of basil for frozen pesto, and a few nights back it went down to 42. Lettuce is cold hardy to below freezing and should not be planted indoors (it makes it, but there is no reason to). I think dill should be planted outdoors as well.
Cukes and tomatoes may be set back some by a cold spell, resulting in a crop delayed by 3 weeks or so, but you can avoid the clutter and the problems of indoor growing by growing them eight at a time, two rounds, totaling 16, which is a large number of tomatoes and cukes, and put them out on an overcast day when the first set of leaves is well established. You could consider surrounding them with Wall-o-Water, buy half a dozen of them and see if it makes a difference for you. You may get an earlier crop than without protection. You could also grow Stupice tomatoes or County Fair cukes, which are some of the most prized early/cold-hardy varieties (I have both). Your worries are misplaced. Start experimenting, 3 or 4 varieties of toms (ultra-early, main season, late) and a couple of cukes (early and main), and see what works.
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