The Seedling Conundrum

We have a situation.

After a mere 24 hours indoors, my seedlings have taken off in leaps and bounds. I was tickled at first, then realized that they need to go back outside at some point.  This growth spurt tells me that they prefer 60-degree weather over the 30-50 degrees they had been in.  I’m afraid if I put them out now (it’s 22 outside), they may revolt – even though it’s supposed to get up near 50 this afternoon.  Do I keep them in one more day, or do I risk it? It’s only been 10 days.  I hate to fail now! Oh, the stress of parenthood. Ha!

(Lettuce, arugula and one little sweet pea!)

15 thoughts on “The Seedling Conundrum

  1. Yeah, germinating and sprouting are two different things. I’ve never started lettuce and arugula indoors – always been a direct seeding thing. We’re zone 4b up here – your rules are different. I direct seed as soon as the first 3″ of soil have thawed. If temps won’t go below 40F, get them outside.

    1. Thanks, Robert. This is truly an experiment, and I’m not sure how the lettuce/arugula will stand up to transplanting. I saved plenty of seeds for next round, and will sow those directly into the soil in a couple of weeks. We’re 6b here, and the night time temps are generally in the 30’s this time of year. I decided to wait one more day to move them back outside. Hopefully they won’t get shocked and will continue to flourish!

  2. I say baby them while u can. Before u know it they’ll be screaming to go outside and live in their own. Then they’ll tell u they want to move across the country and get married. Wait… We’re not talking about your seedlings anymore, are we? Good luck, ma!

    1. It is magic!!! However, keeping them alive until transplant will be miraculous. I’m not the best at follow-through, in case you haven’t noticed!

  3. I’d get them outside as soon as possible. If the sun is shining, that is what your cold frame is for. It will be much warmer in there than the outside temperature. Good luck–and take care of my arugula.

    1. That was my thought, but I was concerned with moving them from 70 to 20 degrees this morning. It starts getting milder tomorrow, with temps back in the 60s and near 40 at night. I’ll put them out in the morning, and they should be just fine going forward.

      I’ll send your arugula your regards!

    1. So am I! 🙂

      They’ll stay indoors another day, then we’re supposed to warm up. They are cold-weather plants, so they can handle a bit of a nip.

  4. How about hardening them off in a makeshift coldframe? Even if they’re happy with warm days, cooler nights and temp. changes can be rough on soft growth.

    1. Hi, Lucie. They have been living in a cold frame for the last week…until the temps dropped down into the teens. That’s when I took them inside and that went crazy! They will go back into the cold frame tomorrow, as night time temps are supposed to stay in the 30-40 degree range. Hopefully I didn’t do more harm than good by trying to protect them the last few nights. I guess I’ll find out soon enough!

  5. You did just fine – but I have to ask, how impatient are you that you can’t wait for the fastest growing item in the garden? 🙂

    1. Busted!! 🙂

      I am both impatient and acutely anxious, thus I cannot wait for my plants to grow and agonize over them until they do. Aren’t I fun?

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