Cover seeds in freezing temps?

Discussion in 'Vegetables' started by rosiecotton19, Mar 24, 2014.

  1. rosiecotton19

    rosiecotton19

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    I'm in the Tidewater area of Virginia and we are expecting freezing temperatures tonight. I planted spinach, swiss chard, carrot, lettuce, kale, and beet seeds last Thursday and have been trying to keep the soil moist since then. Should I cover the seeds in the ground in preparation for the frost? None have yet germinated.

    If I should cover them, what should i cover them with? I have a tarp and blankets.

    Thanks in advance!
     
    rosiecotton19, Mar 24, 2014
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  2. rosiecotton19

    Chuck

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    Don't worry about covering them. They won't be hurt.
     
    Chuck, Mar 24, 2014
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  3. rosiecotton19

    Lostvalleyguy

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    If the seeds have started to germinate underground they may be susceptible to frost. A lot would depend on how deep the frost goes and how long it remains below freezing. I would suggest that if you have a tarp or blanket, it would be foolish not to place it down. blankets would, of course, be warmer but tarps will still help. Just be sure to check each day to ensure that the sprouts aren't pushing up through the ground - that is when frost will really become an issue.
     
    Lostvalleyguy, Mar 24, 2014
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  4. rosiecotton19

    rosiecotton19

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    Thank you! I will put down some blankets overnight. It's supposed to get down to 32F tonight and then snow flurries in the morning turning to rain. I'll cover them overnight and then they should be OK. Spring is challenging!
     
    rosiecotton19, Mar 24, 2014
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  5. rosiecotton19

    firelily99

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    I will put some black plastic on them in order to keep the ground temp consistent. You don't say where you live which would be a big help in providing you with information.
     
    firelily99, Mar 24, 2014
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  6. rosiecotton19

    rosiecotton19

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    Thanks, firelily. I think I wrote in my initial post, I'm in the Tidewater area of Virginia. I will put black plastic and then blankets on top.
     
    rosiecotton19, Mar 24, 2014
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  7. rosiecotton19

    rosiecotton19

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    Ugh, I am so worried about my seeds! It is raining and snowing right now. I will cover them tonight, but I'm just so worried that they've frozen already, either that or they've rotted. I guess I should give it some time before jumping to conclusions but I've been so bad at gardening over the past few years that I'm already wondering what I've done wrong.

    How much should I be watering the seeds, anyway? I know they say to keep the ground moist so I was giving them a little water every day but now I'm worried that was too much. UGHH!!!
     
    rosiecotton19, Mar 25, 2014
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  8. rosiecotton19

    Chuck

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    Seeds are tough. As long as they don't sprout shortly before freezing temps you will be OK. Overwatering seeds and seedlings is a common mistake. Just because it is freezing doesn't mean that your seeds are dead. If that were true then Mother Nature would have really screwed up. As for as watering goes if there is any kind of moisture in your seed beds or pots that is OK. What kills seeds is too much water which equals rot. If they haven't sprouted yet, and most seeds take between 9 and 17 days to sprout then todays cold weather will have no effect. I planted my squash and cucumbers 2 weeks ago when it was a warm spell. Then a week later it froze big time. Yesterday the squach seeds had sprouted and were above soil level with no harm and the cucs were breaking out..If your seeds haven't sprouted don't worry yet. When the temp rises and they still haven't sprouted then worry. If that happens dig around and look for the old seeds to see if they almost sprouted or if they are rotted. You will still have plenty of time to reseed.
     
    Chuck, Mar 25, 2014
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  9. rosiecotton19

    rosiecotton19

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    Thanks, Chuck. Looks like tonight will be the last freeze at least for the next 10 days. Hopefully, I will see some come up during that time.
     
    rosiecotton19, Mar 26, 2014
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