New to Gardening

srn790May 20, 2009

I am new to gardening and have decided to grow 10 different vegetables, not knowing what I was getting into. I started out growing, 4 of each: cucumber, melon, watermelon, tomato, bushel bean, hot pepper and green pepper. I made the mistake of planting them in the middle of April. About two weeks ago I started putting them under a grow light. They have doubled in size. Just yesterday i put them in a five gallon buckets under the lights again. Today they look a little droopy and wilted. I can not put them outside until the first week of June. Am I doing everything right so far or is there more I need to do?

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zenpotter(z4 MN)

I would start hardening them off now. Put them outside in a sheltered spot and bring them in at night for a few days then put them in the ground. If it is going to freeze cover them.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 8:03AM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

I understand that you are planning on growing them in the five gallon buckets, right? If you are planning to put them in a garden bed here in the Twin Cities you can plant them outside now.

Newly transplanted plants will often look a bit wilted the first day or so. Be sure they have been watered well. Expect they have perked up by now.

All plants grown inside for the winter/spring need to be hardened off before being placed in sun full time. This means to move them into the sun for a short part of the day and each day increasing their time in the sun. That will prevent the plants dieing from sunburn/sun scald. Another way is to put them in full sun but put something near the plants to shade them for part of the day. After about a week of this they should be okay in full sun.

Another year I suggest you harden off the plants before transplanting into the five gallon containers, just a lot easier to move them while they are still in smaller containers. You would still need to shade the plants after transplanting to the five gallon container or the garden bed for a couple of days.

Watch the forecast and move them back in if a frost is expected, or cover them with a light sheet. The June 1st date is suggested for warm weather plants to let the soil warm thoroughly if planting in a garden bed. If you are leaving them in the containers you don't have the problem of too cold soil. With the high temps the last few days soil in the beds should be warm enough also.

The only vegetables I grow in pots are tomatoes. I know others who garden completely in pots. Keep in mind that those in pots may need water every day in the summer and sometimes twice a day. You want to keep the soil moist but not soggy. Some people add a moisture additive, like Soil Moist, and many companies already have the moisture additive already in the mix.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 11:09AM
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