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When is it safe to put gallon or smaller plants in the ground?

Posted by country-citygirl Utah-Northern (My Page) on
Tue, Jan 14, 14 at 12:26

I'm new to Utah and need to know when it's safe to plant gallon or smaller plants in the ground without them freezing. In California I could start planting in March. I have read I should wait till Mother's Day here. Any advice would be very helpful.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: When is it safe to put gallon or smaller plants in the ground

Depending on what part of Utah you're in, mother's day is a good goal. Here in Utah, you'll get good at starting your seedlings in the house and then just staring out the window wishing it would get warmer faster.


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RE: When is it safe to put gallon or smaller plants in the ground

I have always wanted to start plants inside. However, I have tried in the past with no success. Do I use a heat light to keep the seedlings warm? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Starting from seed is much less expensive and much more rewarding then buying plants at the store.


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RE: When is it safe to put gallon or smaller plants in the ground

I think I do things a little different than most people here. I use the ziplock bag starting method with my heated floors (trip hazard if not careful :) then move the little sprouts to planting cells. Along with my heated floors, I also have lots of windows and access to a greenhouse so I haven't needed grow lights. You do need to keep the little guys from getting chilled or it stunts their growth. I also found I like the plastic grow cells so much more than the peat pots. Peat pots mold and the plants just doesn't thrive for me in them. Hope this helps!


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RE: When is it safe to put gallon or smaller plants in the ground

Everyone does things a little differently, but I have had great success using peat pellets here in Salt Lake. I just find a spot on my kitchen counter to lay out a flat (my husband puts up with this for a few months), and then get out a calendar and decide which seeds I want to plant. I count backward 4-6 weeks from mother's day for warm weather veggies and flowers. You can start a lot of cool weather stuff, like peas and lettuce, around St. Patrick's day. I don't even bother sowing these things indoors.

My dad mad a nice little grow light stand for me using pvc pipe and chains with hooks. This helps lower the light as far to the seedlings as possible without touching them. There is a lot of great information on starting seeds indoors on Gardenweb. Check out the "Growing from seed" and "Growing under lights" forums. I learned a lot about starting indoors this way. It's very fun, a lot cheaper, and a great way to keep your spirits up in the bleak of winter. :)


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RE: When is it safe to put gallon or smaller plants in the ground

  • Posted by snibb Salt Lake City (My Page) on
    Sun, Feb 2, 14 at 11:19

I began putting things in my cold frame 2 weeks ago and most of them have already come up. I'll start direct seeding in my low tunnels in a few more days. If you can protect your plants the right way the possibilities really start to open up.


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RE: When is it safe to put gallon or smaller plants in the ground

Check with the USU extension office for the last frost date in your area or google it. This year, I moved across Provo and it changed my frost date because I moved closer to the lake. You can also use walls-of-water to start warm weather vegetables sooner outside.


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RE: When is it safe to put gallon or smaller plants in the ground

Do I use a heat light to keep the seedlings warm?

This evening I transferred 25 watermelon and cantaloupe sprouted seeds to small pots. I did the same with tomatoes more than a month ago. To sprout them I use the ziplock bag method and set them on top of the refrigerator. Plenty of warmth up there to cause seeds to sprout. As soon as they start to sprout I move them into small peat or homemade newspaper pots. The seedlings don't need a lot of warmth once they are sprouted. But they will need light.


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RE: When is it safe to put gallon or smaller plants in the ground

I try to hold off starting indoors until April, targeting a Mother's Day planting (We, Sevier County, just had two hard freezes this year (2014) on Mother's Day weekend. And it has been known to snow as late as June. It did snow all morning on Mother's Day this year.

I have a whole wall of West facing windows where I start my seed trays. I set the trays outdoors in dappled shade for at least two weeks to harden off before planting out in the garden. If they're getting too big for their original seed tray, I'll transplant them to small pots (3-4") just before the hardening off period.

BTW - I used to be terrible at indoor seed starting, but I do it all the time now out of necessity. So there IS hope :)


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