Seedlings Freezing


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This topic contains 8 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Jacob Lockcuff 1 month, 1 week ago.

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  • #45409

    Jacob Lockcuff
    Participant

    Hey, I hope everyone is having a good day (or night, depending on when you read this I guess). I’ve been raising seedlings in my low tunnel so far this past winter for putting out in the ground this spring. So far I’ve never let the frost get them, bringing them indoors at night, mainly because I have read that seedlings can not take it. This is confusing to me though, as when put outdoors they can take a freeze absolutely fine.
    So, my question is: Can seedlings grown in modular trays take a freeze? Will it kill them until they’re older?
    My question pertains to cool weather crops, of course, not warm weather (e.g. tomatoes).
    Thanks,
    Jacob

    #45413

    charles
    Moderator

    Hi Jacob and I wonder where you got this information… there is so much out there that is untrue.
    As I keep saying and writing, the February sowings are frost hardy vegetables, which includes seedling stage otherwise they would not be feasible to sow so early. In older days, often outside.
    Sure if its -10C/12F for a week, they may perish, but mid Feb undercover makes that v unlikely!

    #45433

    Amanda
    Participant

    Hi Jacob,
    This is going to be my first year of no dig, all previous years I have cosseted my seedlings, spending a fortune on heating my greenhouse.
    This year I decided to follow Charles advice and left them unheated. We have had some of the worst weather on record in Devon, with heavy snow and wind chill of -7. I couldn’t even get to my greenhouse during two days of blizzard conditions.
    All my cell grown veggies are happy and healthy, I fact they look better than previous years as they are much sturdier.
    My advice, trust Charles.

    #45446

    Dieter
    Participant

    I had Komatsuna seedlings in the cold frame before the Beast from the East arrived. They were two weeks old and about 75% of the seedlings survived the Beast (-9°C at its coldest here, and icy wind drying out the soil) without additional protection (like fleece or straw). I actually wanted them to die and just sow again after the Beast, but won’t be necessary 🙂

    Also lettuce seedlings (Winter Gem) survived.

    #45454

    Jacob Lockcuff
    Participant

    Thanks! I guess it’s time to quit babying them and treat them like adults haha. My little greenhouse that they are in stays very warm during the day, needing vented. The weather has been really mild recently for this time of year in our neck of the woods, so it’s hit 120 F inside there already. Night time temperatures drop quickly however, and I’ve brought them inside every time.

    #45488

    John
    Participant

    Where I am, I think the Beast from the East came from because the lowest temp here has been -13 C and is now defrost time. I am following Charles guidelines and advice regarding modular sowing and covering when transplanted during early spring. Still a week or more to go but this year, in my module trays, waiting under a cloche are spinach, lettuce, onions and cabbages and some kales for a complete thaw of the soil. First night in the cloche, they were protected from -2 C. But my most recent modular sowing seeds of beetroot and turnips are still on a window sill indoors. I am falling in love with modular sowing.

    #45672

    John
    Participant

    An update, the seedlings are still in the cloche and 10cm of snow has fallen with temps soon to go below zero celcius. I will aerate the cloche when the sun is around and continue from there…thaw soon in the soil and fleece awaiting them.

    #45675

    John
    Participant

    I just brought them back home. Snow and cold became too much for my conscience. Actually -5 celcius with a risk of -10 celcius.

    #45677

    Jacob Lockcuff
    Participant

    It got down to 23 F (-5 C) the other morning here, and about 28 F in the greenhouse. Seedlings froze but took it well. They’ve frozen a couple times now and recovered very well! Boy does it save time not lugging them in and out. It’s been very mild recently so I wonder how they would do during a more “normal” March with much lower low temperatures?

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