Forum home Plants

Another seedling query...

Janie BJanie B Posts: 948
Is it true that, in general, once plants have germinated and have a couple of true leaves, they can then go out into a (frost-free) greenhouse?

I've sown so many seeds this year that my kitchen (with continual Aga-heat) is getting really full, and my seedlings are getting pretty leggy...


  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 1,823
    Depends on the hardiness of the plant @Janie B  Hardy plants can be germinated in an unheated greenhouse, you don't need to start them off in the house and then move them to the greenhouse, although it will speed up germination if you start them off indoors.  

    Apart from our Chilli's, all of our seeds are germinated in our unheated greenhouse (and thats a large range of vegetables and flowers).  This includes a lot of non-hardy plants (Cucumbers, Courgettes, Tomatoes).  We have always started them off in the greenhouse, but we don't plant the non-hardy seeds until April, when there is less chance of a hard frost.  Even with minor frosts, we find that everything in the greenhouse always survives.

    Moving seedlings from the greenhouse to outdoors (hardening off), is more tricky, and that's generally where I find we lose some plants if we don't do it slowly (and remember to put everything back in the greenhouse when there's a late frosty night).  
  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 4,495
    edited April 2021
    Frost -free doesn't guarantee much warmth at night , though it may be a touch warmer than outside, but it will still come as a shock to seedlings. Hardy ones should be ok, though it may slow down their progress, but tender ones will be safer inside. Somewhere with more light, but less heat than the aga, is needed - I annex every available windowsill for my pots and trays, use the back porch as a mini conservatory and add extra temporary staging to my greenhouse at this time of year!
    My windowsills face south, which is good for light, but means I have to watch out for them on sunny days and shade if appropriate so they don't get frizzled. They all need turning regularly to develop evenly.
    If yours are a bit leggy, you can bury the stems a bit deeper when repotting, to help make them more srurdy. :)
  • didywdidyw Posts: 3,340
    It's a right old merry-go-round at this time of year. At this moment, I have seedlings from the sunny windowsills outside on a s.facing table, (with the last batch of sowings on those sunny windowsills), they come in at night,  seedlings that live in the porch at night on the front doorstep, seedlings that have been through the doorstep stage in the zip up greenhouse, open at the moment but zipped up when the sun goes down, seedlings that were in there in a makeshift cold frame (an old plastic greengrocers tray with a bit of fleece on top) now with the fleece lifted off all the time and seedlings/cuttings that have progressed through all of this now outside in a sheltered spot all the time (providing they are hardy varieties).
    The warm sunny days/cold nights we are having at the moment are really helping this process.  
    Gardening in East Suffolk on dry sandy soil.
  • Janie BJanie B Posts: 948
    Thanks for the tips... think I need to be more aware of the hardiness of the plants and learn to treat them differently... 
Sign In or Register to comment.