Starting lots of seeds outdoors before planting?

I'm in the Denver area. We're having an early spring this year, it's been warm. 80 today.
I want to get massive amounts of seeds started outdoors before planting them in the garden. So I need gentle sun but not full hot dry sun.
What would be the best way to do this while still keeping birds and squirrels out of it?
I'm thinking of building a potting table with an outside edge, and then putting a seed sprouting bed in the center area, covered with a 1/4" wirecloth squares hinged top.
--
- Mama Bear

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wrote:

I have no idea on the birds or squirls, but something I would like to point out about sprouting seed outdoors, on a potting table.
In Denver, this time of year, I think your results will be poor.
Reason: Your soil will cool to the outside temperature at night(not the ground temperature).
Nature uses temperature and moisture as a "key" to tell a seed when to germinate. Example: Crabgrass seed will germinate when ground temperature remains above 50F for 5 consecutive nights(if there is sufficient moisture). Every species has it't own reqirement.
Good luck on your project. Oldtimer.
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I agree, with regard to temperatures. If the OP still wants to try this, she should get a roll of fence wire and create cages over the table. Attach dark window screen or burlap to the cages to shade the seedlings. She should also keep in mind that the pots of 6-packs may still dry out very quickly, just due to wind, unless she's home all day, every day, to water them.
Bad idea, probably.
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I agree with the others and suggest starting your seeds indoors where the temperature is more steady. You can move them outside right after they have sprouted.
If space indoors is a problem, start many together in a light starter medium like vermiculite, peat moss, or perlite and distribute the seedlings into their growing pots after they have sprouted.

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I tried that with some peat pots indoors, but as soon as I put the seedlings out, something is digging them up and/or eating them out there. Squirrels? I mean I'm finding holes in the ground where I planted the seedlings in the peat pots. Or eaten off tops.
So I'm thinking that I could start the seeds indoors, but I still need a protected table with 1/4" wire cloth screen over it, to let them get bigger before planing them in the ground. I might report them there and let them grow into good sized seedlings before actually planting?
--
- Mama Bear

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That sounds fine, but it doesn't sound like it will help with the problem of something digging them up and eating them after they're in the ground. :( Good luck with that aspect.
wrote :

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Well if I can get them to be 6" tall instead of 1" tall, I think they'd have a better chance.
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Well, 6 inch plants will be six times more tasty than 1 inch plants. You should try planting inside a wire cage. I find the squirrels are reluctant to go inside these cages, possibly because they suspect it is some kind of trap. If that doesn't stop them, you will have to enclose the tops, as well.
Sherwin D.
Mama Bear wrote:

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