Forum home Plants

Help on seedlings?

Hi all

I haven't grown a lot from seed before and realise now that I don't (quite) know what I'm doing!  Let's focus on my cosmos seedlings - stuck them in cells in a heated propagtor and they came through beautifully in 3 days - so far so good.  But what the heckety am I supposed to do with them now?

The propagators are in the only room in the house which has a south-facng aspect, but the light's still too low there - most of what I've sown in the past has gone leggy. 

If I stuck these in the cloche I have, they'll get the light, but presume I'd need to bring them in at night to avoid cool temps / frost?  If I stuck them in the greenhouse, ditto re bringing them in at night, but don't they risk exposure to temps too hot during the day then?

When do seedlings get a bit of steel about them and not have to be mollycoddled? :)

Would a period in the cloche (bringing inside at night) habituate them to be able to survive in the greenhouse day and night whatever the weather?  It's a bit of a faff bringing them in and I've not got much space indoors.

The other seedlings are sweet peas (Planted November), mange tout (both with true leaves), then rudbeckia, gyp, violas and cornflower, all of which are teeny-tiny at the mo.

I'm in the Midlands of UK.  Thanks!


  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 8,717
    Depends how big they are and where you live,mine are 6in still in the conservatory which is north facing,I gave up on the heated propagator, found things dried out too quickly, plus every surface is covered in seedlings,I would need a propagator about 10 feet, short answer they go out after frost has finished,but harden them off for about a week before their final position
  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 8,717
    Sorry just saw the bottom where you live
  • hatty123hatty123 Posts: 125
    I'm "up north" too in Yorkshire. My cosmos were started off indoors by some east facing patio doors, good light in the morning but shady in afternoon. Needed the space for other seedings so I moved them outside to a cloche a couple of weeks ago even though they were only just getting true leaves and despite the cold temps they're doing fine. I've got a thermometer in the cloche, coldest it's got is 2°c so maybe I've been lucky! My cold frame only went down to 4° so that might be better than a cloche if you have one.
  • Mary370Mary370 Posts: 2,003
    All but one that you mention are hardy and can be hardened off and put out in a sheltered place, near a wall/cold frame if you have one.......leave open during the day.  Cosmos need a bit more protection from the cold, put out during the day, bring back in at when/when temp goes below about 5 degrees.  Will be ok to leave out once night temps reach double figures.
  • PurpleRosePurpleRose Posts: 538
    I am in Yorkshire also. Mine got put on the heated mat in my south facing conservatory. As soon as I spotted quite a few emerging, I turned off the heat mat. They stay in the conservatory day and night and are coming on really well even though we have had some cold weather this week. 

    If the forecast is correct for the coming week, I will pop some in the cold frame outside (during the day) and bring them in at night until they have hardened off properly.
  • didywdidyw Posts: 3,542
    Hi @Rob Lockwood - Pricking out and potting on is always going to be the problem - the seed sowing is the easy bit! I am being quite ruthless with my pricking out - only keeping a few of the seedlings rather than all of them and putting 2 to a small pot. I then pot them on again if they are a bit leggy, burying the stem up to the first true leaves. They go on the windowsills, turning every morning.  As soon as they are looking fairly robust, they go into my zip up greenhouse or the hardier ones into a makeshift cold frame (a greengrocers tray with flower sticks gaffed to it and covered in fleece).  Your greenhouse should be fine.  Last year's - which are almost ready for planting out now - are going outside during the day, in to an unheated porch at night while we still have a chance of frost.  Good luck! 
    Gardening in East Suffolk on dry sandy soil.
  • Some great stuff here - thanks all!  I'll review with a cup of coffee later and launch a plan of attack!
Sign In or Register to comment.