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When to plant indoors

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MDLady43 blog
Joined: 7/18/2007
Location: Maryland
Posts: 137
Posted: Mar/25/2009 12:23 PM PST


Can anyone tell me when to plant corn, cantaloupe, green beans and tomato seeds inside? I am eager to get an early start on my veggies and would like to plant my seeds inside now so when it gets warm enough outside (late April, May) they can go right in the ground.
biyu_wolf_77 blog photos
Joined: 3/05/2008
Location: around
Posts: 1764
Posted: Mar/25/2009 12:33 PM PST

cantalope id think you could nowish same with tomatoes the size may be stunted till you plant outside tho--my peppers seem stunted 3 months old an only so tall but meh LOL

note im zone 5 and i have peppers tomatoes and watermellons im or have started the day to go outside is round june 4th but ill take out any day i can before then if i deem its nice enough
Joined: 7/08/2003
Location: West of Salem, OR on the W. edge of the Willamette
Posts: 123
Posted: Mar/25/2009 3:47 PM PST

I'm curious why you'd want to start beans and corn indoors? Both germinate in warm soil would, within weeks pass the ones started indoors. I have a guy down the road who starts his corn in his greenhouse and has them set out in Mid-May. The sit for a week or so, then slowly start to recover.
Mine that I start in the ground will bear as quickly as his.
I would caution you, if you're going to start cantaloupe, melons, cukes, etc indoors to be very careful when you transplant them outside. They don't take kindly to having their roots disturbed. I've never had good luck with the peat pots so I use a pot made from recycled cardboard (Western) and cut them down the sides and very carefully remove the pot when I transplant outside.
I don't know when your last frost date is but good, strong tomato plants from seed to transplant size take about 6-7 weeks here. That's not counting the time it takes to sprout and make their first true leaves.
So, figure your last average frost date and count backward 8 weeks. That's when they need to be in the flats indoors.
Catalina photos
Joined: 2/07/2009
Location: Fort Wayne, Indiana
Posts: 8
Posted: Mar/25/2009 5:54 PM PST

It's important to have lighting on your plants indoors or your plants will be stretching for light and get straggly. Do you have a south facing window? If it gets good light you will have to turn your plants regularly so they do not grow lopsided but they may still get straggly. The best thing to do is get some shop lights and put in plant fluorescent bulbs.(I've gotten them at Wal-Mart in the fluorescent tube section- just read the package make sure it says for plants)

Keep the lights a few inches above the plants to encourage strong stout plants. The lights should be kept on for at least 12 hours, some recommend 16 hours. Bottom heat is valuable, especially for tomatoes or other plants that prefer warm soil. Normally warm season crops like melons, cucumbers and squash are started outdoors after the last day of frost in your area. You can start them indoors but do not start them too early as they may get too root bound, unless you keep an eye on the roots and transplant into larger containers so as not to stunt their growth.

It is important to rotate the plants because the center of the fluorescent tubes emits more intense light than the ends. You can also line trays with foil to reflect more light to the plants. The idea of starting plants inside is to have good strong healthy growth that will take off when transplanted into the garden. If the plants get straggly or root bound they will be stunted and not not perform at their optimum productivity level.
MDLady43 blog
Joined: 7/18/2007
Location: Maryland
Posts: 137
Posted: Mar/26/2009 2:27 PM PST

Thanks for all your good advise. The reason why I want to start my veggies indoors because it is different. I love planting things differently to see if I get the same effect. Last year, I planted cantaloupe in a pot and it grew just as well as in the ground. This year, I am growing spinach indoors.

I just wanna see if these warm weather plants, if grown indoors until about 4-6 weeks old before going in the ground in May, will grow as big or taste any different as if I plant them in the ground as seeds in May. Wow, that was a mouthful!!!!LOL
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