Transplanting in early May

guernica132(7a)February 26, 2013

Hey ya'll, I am new to growing annuals in beds and was wondering if it would be too late to transplant Four o' Clocks, Snapdragons, and Sweet William in Tulsa during the first week of May. The seeds were started indoors and have just now germinated. My husband and I are moving into a new home the last week of April, so it's about the earliest I can transplant.

When I was a kid in Bartlesville I remember my grandparents transplanting that late in the season, but Tulsa is slightly warmer and I know we've also had unseasonably warm temperatures in May the last few years... enough for the USDA to update our hardiness zone. Thus my concern.

Alternatively, can I grow them in containers? I'm pretty sure my four o' clocks will since, well, they're four o' clocks and survive just about anything. But these plants are the "deluxe" or large variety and will grow to at least two feet (sweet william) and three feet (snapdragons and four o' clocks). I've seen how much giant containers are, and I really don't want to spend that kind of money right now. Any advice is appreciated!


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helenh(z6 SW MO)

You are right about the four o clocks. They are tough and love the heat. Both snapdragons and sweet william do better in milder weather. The first week in May is not that late. The potting soil for containers is expensive. I have some plants in galvanized tubs that cost $8 to $12 at a flea market but that style may not fit your new place. I think you could repot your plants as they get bigger into gallon size black pots or salvaged plastic containers like gallon milk jugs. Then you can harden them off gradually and slip them right in their new place on a cloudy day.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 10:31AM
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Fantastic. Also, flea markets are a great idea, and I think I'll look around my in-laws' farm too. The nurseries and stores around here want $20 per pot! That adds up quickly with all the plants I'll likely have.

Thanks for the advice helenh!

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 8:16PM
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Check your local freecycle...or maybe even craigslist for the black plastic pots. I'd share if you lived near OKC :)

If you end up with giant pots...don't fill the whole thing up with soil, use an upside down smaller pot or something as a space filler. Potting soil is not cheap :)


    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 9:16PM
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Guernca132, one thing you may want to check into is plastic barrels. The ones around here are white and blue. The blue ones that I got had windshield washer fluid in them, I have not bought any of the white one so I dont know what they have had in them. I think I paid $10.99 per 55gal. drum, then cut it in half, making 2 containers. Years ago I could buy acid drums that were much heavier. I doubt that EPA would let those be sold any more.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 9:26PM
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I have seen where people use Rubbermaid storage containers, like you would put Christmas decorations in to store. Big Lots often has those in the $7 range. Not the prettiest option, but might get you over the hump until you get settled in your new place.

I second Lisa's idea to fill the space a bit - I've used empty plastic bottles (like soda or milk), even seen soda cans used. Anything light weight that will fill volume. The bad part about filling giant pots with dirt is that they weigh a TON. Keep the root system size of your plants in mind when using "filler."

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 2:34PM
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