is it safe to put seedlings into window boxes yet?

graigrai Posts: 28

when is the usual time to plant window boxes - I have grown hundreds of plants from seed (by accident! I was expecting some of them to die!) and now want them off all my window ledges inside my flat but don't know whether I'd lose the lot to cold and frost

is it too early? when is the usual time?

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  • LilylouiseLilylouise Posts: 1,014

    I would hold off for another month if I was you - then if we get a late frost you could cover the windowboxes with some fleece

    Pam x

  • graigrai Posts: 28

    thanks Pam - I was afraid you'd say that! I want my window ledges back! Also they are all looking a bit tired of being crammed on there together in tiny pots and I'm getting the odd little blackfly which isnt good and the odd yellow leaf

    But there's no point just chucking them out in the window boxes and hoping for the best after nursing them since January so I will wait

    but apart from the fact that they're struggling now - they are really starting to out stay their welcome inside the flat

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 10,677

    It depends on where you are and how high up is your flat.  The usual advice is not to put out anything tender before frosts end in about mid May but if your window sills face south and are high enough to be clear of ground frosts you may be OK to do it a week or two earlier. On the other hand, if you're in an exposed or windy site, best to wait.

    If you have more plants than you need, you could try potting on the best seedlings into the window boxes but keep them indoors for now.  Keep a few spares just in case and pot them into small pots to grow on and then give away the remaining seedlings or just put them on the compost heap.

    The Vendée, France
  • graigrai Posts: 28

    thanks obelixx

    I'm more greenfingered than I thought! Everything has survived - I have about 90 marigolds!!

    of course they could all keel over once they're planted out or get infections from being inside all crammed together etc.etc.- they are starting to look exhausted so I won't speak too soon - I will give anything away but intend to fill my balconies to the brim first

    I'm 3 flights up so I think its a bit too blowy and cold even in the sheltered parts of the balcony floors so I'll wait

  • Alina WAlina W Posts: 1,445

    If you sowed in January, have you fed the seedlings since? Compost generally runs out of nutrients after about 6 weeks, so if they've not been fed they're going to be hungry.

  • If you have 'spare' plants you could always join up with this lot www.guerrillagardening.org and do some guerrilla gardening !!!
  • graigrai Posts: 28

    thats good to know Alina I didnt know that - shall I give them some liquid seaweed? what do you feed yours?

    Margot - I have loads of gardening friends who will be able to find a spot for a few marigolds! there always seems to be room

  • figratfigrat Posts: 1,619

    Maybe you could try as Obelixx says, then pop the windowboxes outside during the day, if it's fine/possible, and lug them back in for the evening or cover them with fleece or similar.

    If you're growing marigolds, they're pretty tough, but keeping them inside isn't going to help them get used to the big wide world outside

  • graigrai Posts: 28

    what shall i feed them with?

  • If you can run to it, and there's room on the balcony, the seedhouses with plastic covers are a good stop-gap between indoors and outdoors.  I have a load of stuff out in them at the moment, with a bit of fleece on particularly chilly nights; it frees up the windowsills!

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