Friends, I am so ashamed. I killed my tender little plants. I was trying to expose them slowly to sunlight and harden them off properly, but I got busy on a Saturday and completely forgot about them. Poor things didn’t stand a chance in the 90-something degree weather we were having that day. They were a wilted mess later that night, and nothing I did could get them to perk up again.
So here I am, starting all over. I planted more seeds, and this time I placed them directly into pots that are already outside. Some of them have just started to sprout leaves through the soil in the last day or two, so I’m hoping you can give me some tips on how to keep them alive and thriving. I don’t know that I expect to get much of a harvest from them since they’re so late starting, but I want to know that I can grow plants from seed so I’ll be ready next spring.
What do you think? Should I expect to get anything out of the plants this year? I planted tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, onions, and peas. Well, I think that’s what I planted. I forgot to mark them this time around—so we’ll see what appears!
I should tell you—I am also growing some plants I got as starters from a local nursery, and those seem to be doing well—I’ve even got a little green tomato on one of my plants! So I think I can keep a plant alive once it’s got a little strength, but I clearly don’t have a gift for the young’uns.
Any tips for me? How do I keep young plants alive in Utah’s dry heat and sun?--Urban Girl (Sarah)
I am in Texas and have been battling heat and wind. I plant my seeds in egg cartons around Feb. to March. I have a table I put in front of my window and I keep them in the sun all day. The temps outside are still cool so they do not fry inside. Once the temps start warming then I move them outside in partial sun/shade and out of the wind. I some times I have to put them in a wagon to take them indoor to outdoor and back indoor depending on temps and wind. It sometimes seems like a vicious cycle. I have learned to plant everything to only get morning to early afternoon sun due to our temps (we get well over 100). After that full shade so everything doesn't burn up. I have smaller containers spread around the edge of my house according to day shade. The wind has become very difficult but our solution is as the plant starts to grow 2-3 inches tall we use tongue depressors and pipe cleaners to stake our little plants to keep from wind damage. After that we battle grasshoppers. My successes have been lettuce in early Spring, strawberries, tomato's, herbs in flower pots, jalapeno peppers and I have a banana tree growing in Texas. lol! Waiting to see if I can keep it alive long enough to get bananas. Will have to bare root it in the Winter. Happy Gardening! Crystal
Outasight, that's what I'm trying to do!
Adam Nasworthy, thanks for the recommendation of gardentone—I will have to keep that in mind.
Tabby M., thanks for the tips!
JMD, so glad I'm not the only one…
Natalie—oh, no! I'm sorry—so frustrating.
Tammy, good point about the winter veggies. It never would have occurred to me to think about that right now!
I also have a problem raising plants from seed. Some will grow for me (beets, kale, carrots), others will not (parsnips, peppers, broccoli, tomatoes). For the latter group, I take the same path you did with starter plants from the nursery.
If you do want to grow some things from seed, now is the time to start thinking of your winter veggies. Most dark leafy greens like the cold, as does chard, and carrots will winter as well.
Look up the Mittleider Method. You will get miraculous results!
Oooh, I did the exact same thing. So, I did the seedlings again. Then I planted them in the garden and the ants ate them. So then I went and bought the already planted ones and planted them in the garden and a big wind storm came and literally blew them all away! SERIOUSLY. I'm about ready to give up! I think I'll give the garden one more try, and if it doesn't work this time I'm totally going to lose it! hahah! Good luck to you! :)
I feel your pain, I just finished murdering $15 worth of herbs on my patio. Extremely hot where I live and I watered them 2x daily. They looked like I baked them in the oven.
Zucchini and peas will give you a harvest; tomatoes and peppers maybe; onions from seed, probably too late, from small bulbs, maybe. Keep seed trays covered with plastic wrap until green pokes through soil. Then take off wrap and keep misted every day and watered every 2 or 3 days. Once you set them outside, in shade, to harden them, you may need to water every day, watch for wilting on windy days. Then move to sunny area for a couple of days, watering every day. Then plant and water at planting time. Watch for wilting and water every other day, or more as needed on hot or windy days. I am in Provo and this Utah soil is straight sand so it needs compost, mulch and water….and constant watching for the tiniest start to wilting!
okay i live in georgia, but have been doing the trial-and error thing for a while, so heres my two cents: starting from seed, initially requires a lot of watering( misting spray until well- saturated ) at least three times a day, and indirect sunlight ( using a thin,white cotton bedsheet as a shade cloth, if you don't have a greenhouse) once they are two-three inches tall you can ween them off the water/shade combo and into the ground or containers, but watering is key until they have a strong root system-you may not get much of a yield starting this late-but like you said, it puts in a better situation for next spring-don't forget a good fertilizer-do not use miracle-gro; i like gardentone/tomatotone, its organic and can be found at most hardware/home improvement stores, but don't use it until they are in the ground/containers and have a strong,healthy root system….hope it helps and good luck
If you have started them in pots in the sun just keep them moist and they will do just fine have fun nothing like eating your own food