Monday, October 19, 2009

Planted Late...when can I transplant?

Q. Some people say you need 21 days from the time the seed is planted until you transplant to outside. This will put me into June and some things like lettuce, beets, etc. seem to like the cool weather in May. So, my question is, what do I do? Do I wait and put in after 21 days or do I put in after the frost danger is gone?

A. Your “cool weather” plants will do fine in June, just keep them watered and fed. Most vegetable plants that can be grown in April and May don't "like" the cool weather so much - they can just tolerate it better than the tender plants.

There is nothing magic about 21 days for transplanting seedlings. Tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant require about 8 weeks before putting them in the garden, and some things, like squashes are transplanted in less than 21 days.

Tender and frost-intolerant plants must be protected until the danger of frost is past, but both lettuce and beets have been known to go through hard frosts with little damage - just not much growth. Lettuce is more tender than beets, and so will do better with some protection.

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