Should I bring my new plants back inside????

Sandy_W(6)April 20, 2005

Hi I live in the Buffalo NY area. Weather has been great around here. I have had all my new plants outside for the past week. This week lows are going to get to around 30 degrees at night. I have grown petunias, geraniums, marigolds, dicondra silver falls, zinnias and dwarf stock. My question is can I keep these plants in my garage without harming them. Should I bring them in under lights again or would covering them with a tarp and keeping them in the garage be ok? Any help would be appreciated.

Sandy W

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penny1947(z6 WNY)

Sandy if they were grown under lights I am not sure. If it were me I would put them in a protected area. I sowed my seeds via wintersowing so they can stay outside. I have already planted out some of my seedlings but will cover them with cloches when the temps go down. I am just down the road from you in N.T.


    Bookmark   April 21, 2005 at 8:20AM
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Hooti(z5 NY)

Because they are predicting temperatures below freezing my advice would be to bring in or cover anything not frost hardy. I cover my winter sows at night anyhow. I brought in the winter sown that are more fragile, especially tiny things more because of the danger of heavy rain washing them away of flattening them down. In addition I brought in all the nion frost hardy or non hardened off plants/seedlings.


    Bookmark   April 22, 2005 at 1:00AM
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crankyoldman(z5 NY)

I would bring them in. I did an experiment this season. I planted seeds for various things and compared those grown inside to those spending their time outside. The ones grown inside on a sunny window are huge in comparison to the ones grown outside. For instance, eggplants inside are over a foot tall with palm-sized leaves vs. eggplants outside about 2 inches tall with 1-inch-long leaves. Same variety, same time planted, same media, etc. Inside is definitely better.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2005 at 8:01AM
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penny1947(z6 WNY)

Plants grown inside will grow faster in the beginning because of the early warmth but I found that the ones grown via wintersowing soon catch up to the inside plants and that they are zone hardier than inside grown plants. I have plants rated for zone 7/8 that are very hardy in my garden all year long. To me the size of a plant doesn't mean much if it can't handle the outside growing conditions.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2005 at 8:19AM
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crankyoldman(z5 NY)

"To me the size of a plant doesn't mean much if it can't handle the outside growing conditions."

But that's what hardening off is for. I have lost some plants to my being over-enthusiastic about outside growing but I have not lost any to hardening off. OTOH, I have had some plants that started out pokey and sickly and then took off and produced really well later. That happened with one of my pepper varieties last year.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2005 at 6:50PM
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penny1947(z6 WNY)

WIntersown plants don't need to be hardened off. SInce they are outside in their containers right from the time they have been sowed they are already naturally hardened off.


    Bookmark   April 23, 2005 at 7:21AM
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I am 100% with you, Penny!
Sandy, do not skip the hardening off step with your indoor grown seedlings. I was a little impatient with mine when I first started, and I learned.


    Bookmark   April 23, 2005 at 7:46AM
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crankyoldman(z5 NY)

I can see the point of wintersowing perennials, because that's just cold stratification, which is required by a lot of perennial seeds. But I don't see the point with annuals at all. They always do fine for me either direct sown (big seeds) or started outside in flats (small seeds) later in the season in my zone 5. I especially don't see the point of trying to winter sow tender perennials like eggplants, tomatoes, and other warmth-lovers, in particular now that I have tried it and seen the difference.

I have not had a problem with indoor-sown plants being particularly susceptible to cold once they are hardened off, which is why I mentioned hardening off. Hardening off usually takes at most a week, so I don't see where there is any big delay. I find that the biggest set-back comes from putting the plant in the ground, when it just sits there while it forms new roots. I guess I just don't see the advantage of treating all plants the same way.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2005 at 7:17PM
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