I'd like to start my seedlings really early next spring, but I don't have
much room indoors. I'm going to set up a wood-frame and plastic tarp
enclosure outside. I realize I'll have to get the seedlings to sprout
indoors, and then I'll move the trays out to the enclosure asap.
Any advice on this? How early can I start this? Will the seedlings continue
to grow when it's really still quite cold outside?
I'm in s/w BC (zone 8). Pacific Northwest for Americans. The temp only
occasionally goes below freezing in winter, generally hovers in the 40's.
I think you are in a good situation, relatively speaking. Seedlings
actually prefer cooler temperatures (in the 60s) once they have
germinated. Start them on top of your fridge, where it is warm, then
move them outdoors. Find a way to moderate temperature swings inside
the enclosure. You can have it under ground, you can add water
containers (I have a 55 gallons drum), and you can have ventilation.
Sterilize your trays well because the conditions will be generally
conducive to damping off.
What seedlings are you planning to start, and when? It sounds like you
should be able to do it, but if you keep the seedlings too long in small
cells, it will set them back and they could be passed by plants started
later in the season.
Some plants will do well in the cool conditions and some won't. For
example, you could grow lettuce as long as the temperatures stay above
about 25 F. On the other hand, something like peppers or tomatoes would
just sit there doing nothing.
Another thing to consider is that plants that require full sun will
generally get leggy in winter light, which is much weaker than summer
light in the northern areas. Cool growing temperatures will mitigate
this somewhat. It's generally best for that kind of plant to keep the
roots warm and the stem/leaves cool.
Dennis Edward wrote:
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.