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Are these good enough for half hardy annuals?


I have sowed half hardy annuals (nicotiana, cosmos zinnia) but I only have a north facing window sill to place them on, and between the heat of the house and the not so great light, the seedlings are getting veeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrry leggy (especially the cosmos).

I do not have a green house, but would these be good enough? I would place them alongside the south-facing wall.

Thank you in advance for your feedback



  • punkdocpunkdoc Posts: 13,740
    I think you have sown them very early, and it may be a struggle to keep them going until they can safely be planted out.
    How can you lie there and think of England
    When you don't even know who's in the team

    S.Yorkshire/Derbyshire border
  • SophieKSophieK Posts: 242
    @punkdoc I fear you may be right. My enthusiasm got the better of me. Thankfully I put aside half the seeds for sowing directly outdoors. Still, at the back of the packets, it says you can sow them indoors from March...

    Any comment re. the above structures, would they do in lieu of a green house?
  • punkdocpunkdoc Posts: 13,740
    They would certainly be better than nothing, the second one looks like quite a good mini greenhouse.
    I am only just thinking about sowing my Cosmos now, they will start indoors, then go out to a cold g/h and not be planted out till late May.
    How can you lie there and think of England
    When you don't even know who's in the team

    S.Yorkshire/Derbyshire border
  • Butterfly66Butterfly66 Posts: 886
    edited March 2021
    I will be sowing my cosmos over the next few days and keeping them in my unheated greenhouse. A week or so later than usual for me and they are always fine.

    As you’re in Wimbledon, I would have thought they would be fine started off in your plastic greenhouse or old frame, whichever you have the room.
     If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”—Marcus Tullius Cicero
    East facing, top of a hill clay-loam, cultivated for centuries (7 years by me). Birmingham
  • SophieKSophieK Posts: 242
    @Butterfly66 @punkdoc Thank you for the feedback. They've been dutifully moved. Expecting a beautiful day too (though it's struggling to get going)

  • If you haven't already, try potting them on. Plant the seedlings deep in the new pots. Also place them out side for a few hours on sunny days. They're hardier than you'd imagine.
  • SophieKSophieK Posts: 242
    @Chris-P-Bacon I have started potting some up using the leggy seedling planting technique. Fingers crossed this batch will grow into good plants.
  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,245
    Have you  tried supplemental grow lights? These are my seedlings on an east facing window, with cheap Chinese grow lamps I think they're doing pretty well. My only problem is they don't fit on the window any more and I've had to deploy an ironing board as a temporary stand!

    No photo description available
  • SophieKSophieK Posts: 242
    edited March 2021
    @Loxley yes, I have grow lights but they don't seem to make a difference, they keep getting leggy  :(

    PS: I am very jealous of your very healthy bushy looking seedlings!! :D
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 83,995
    edited March 2021
    I have one similar to the wooden one. It’s on a southeast facing house wall and I use it to overwinter halfhardy stuff ... I put a couple of layers of bubble wrap and fleece over and around the plants and pots when frost is forecast. 

    It’s worth working out which side the cold wind comes  from and slide a piece of thick cardboard or a sheet of polystyrene down that side in cold spells too. 

    I’ve not lost many plants ... most losses have been down to infiltration by slugs 
    or forgetting to remove the bubble wrap during the day and botrytis setting in.  

    I also use it to put tomato and squash plants in during the day when they’re too big for the dining room windowsill but it’s too cold to plant them out. We bring them in at night and put them on the dining table until overnight temps are safe for them to stay in the grow house overnight. I find it really useful.

     A proper greenhouse would be better, but I don’t want to lose the space. 

    Hope that helps 😊 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

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