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I'm another who isn't a fan of the time changing.
Question:when growing seedlings by the window how do you prevent them getting too stalky before you transplant them to the next size pot. My brassica always seem to be that way.
They do grow normally after being transferred.
You are doing well with making sure you can save your precious plants from the changeable weather Donna.
Karen S, you might be able to plant your brassicas outside earlier to avoid them growing leggy in the windowsill, depending on your climate; brassicas in general can tolerate cool weather and light frosts. I actually start my seed trays outdoors on a table on my patio this time of year: March to early April (the slugs eat them if I sow direct into the ground). It saves me the effort of acclimatizing them, and I simply transplant them out into the ground when they have 4-6 good leaves on them. Some things I have to start indoors like tomatoes and squash, as my climate (northern England) is too cool to grow them otherwise.
thank you Galadriel F.
I found they grow leggy not long after they germinate when they have 2 leaves still. I start them in the sunroom as tunnelhouse too hot and outdoors there are still the white cabbage butterflies around.
I am in NZ and these plants are being grown now for the Autumn/Winter garden here.
I have a frame sitting on the concrete that I covered with sheer netting and have popped the repotted seedlings under it . Gardening is always a learning experience. I've been doing it for over 40 years and it still excites me
Grandma Donna wrote, Karen S, to answer your question how to prevent them from getting too stalky. This has been a challenge, but has worked this year. Our windows in our house are not typical long windows and the way the house sits I get the east sun in the morning coming in one window ledge that I can use. As soon as the seedlings emerge I get them in the morning sun at that window ledge. I actually wrapped part of the bottom of my window screen with plastic wrap to break the cold wind.
One they were up a bit more I started putting them in a clear deep storage tote and after the window sun didn't reach the window ledge I transferred them to the tote and took them outside. The sun would hit the plastic tote and warm the inside like a mini greenhouse. As they got a bit taller I put them in another shorter tote so they could get the breeze to make them move and get stronger. Each day I did this, I pampered them quite a bit. This was for the tomatoes. The herbs and other seedlings were shorter so it was easier with them. But they went outside each time the tomatoes went out. Then they outgrew the seedling tray, I transplanted them to a cup and then to a garden pot. Each day taking them out as soon as the sun was warm enough to heat the totes or warm enough for them to withstand the temperature which also was hardening them off. The main thing is I watch for the sun, go out and feel if it is warming me and if it did, it was time to take them outside. I brought them back in before they got cold, each day.
Our night time temperatures reached the 60s and day time 80s so they started staying outside.
Now we are having late night and early morning cold weather thirty degrees, frost etc. Looks like we have 4 to five more nights. I take them out about mid morning, once the temp is above 50 degrees.
Right now has required the most work for me with them bringing the pots inside and out for the past three nights. Following the weather forecast we have about five more nights we have to do this, and I will be so GLAD when we get past 50 degrees! These are Cherokee Purple tomatoes from seed and I hope I can keep them growing well like this. They are very strong, they never got leggy the only thing that has gotten a little bit leggy is the basil but I feel that it will be okay.
I feel they need sun, warmth and air movement to keep them from getting leggy. I hope this helps.
Editing here, I just noticed you said planting for fall. I would do basically the same but probably under shade cloth so they do not get too hot? But still try and get some wind movement on them.
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