Early germinations (lots of it)

This is just not something that ever has happened with my seeds before, but I just looked through my baggies of seed and see that I have somewhere between 20-30+ very germinated (some of these have 2-3 leafs) seeds. This would not be a problem but tomorrow I will be going out of town for two weeks and do not trust that newly planted “baby” seedlings will be taken care of and of course even survive until I get back. I guess I could plant them, water and place in a large plastic bag in a shady place where they will not dry out, get washed out of the pot with a hose, or totally mildew before I return. Or I could just place them (in the baggies) in the refrigerator and ignore them until I get back–but a couple seem like they might be at the point where they will mildew, rot and die if not rooted. The weather forecast here for the next 10 days says that it will be in the low 90’sF midweek. Any good suggestions? What might be causing this much early germination–it seems that our weather has been erratic.

Jackie, this might sound silly, but could you pot all them up into a container and take them with you, even if you only took the advanced ones, just a thought.

Airlines are hard enough to maneuver through…If by auto, maybe not impossible–some of these are “important” seeds.

If you have the time, an automatic irrigation system for a small bench isn’t a huge chore to set up (probably a few hours) particularly if you already have a controller. You can probably find PVC fittings that will connect to 3/4" hose end in the plumbing dept at your big box hardware store. (Make sure you have good washers if you need to leave a hose valve open for such.) You might find clearance controls/valves this time of year at your big box stores.

I’ve had to do this for extended trips in the past, and had good luck with it. Be sure plants are in filtered light and where rodents won’t get at them.

What I have decided to do is pot up the largest seedlings (showing true leaves) and putting the rest in the refridge until I get back. And then I will put these into a large very clear plastic bag where the sun is indirect but it is still bright-the leaves are very etiolated right now and that is because they have no light–that is what I am trying to prevent, along with roots that will brown out. We do have very bright sun, snails, and rats that would otherwise decimate seedlings without some protection. Next question–will the lower temps of the fridge (family fridge, will not be opened much the next two weeks) be too harsh for those already sprouted? I could leave them out (they were in the process of a months long warm stratification, which was to be changed to another months plus cold stratification tomorrow) and stick them into the fridge when I get back the week after Thanksgiving. Any thoughts. or experience? I rely on manual irrigation which a grown son will be doing, but I really do not trust these newly rooting seedlings to his or natures’ mercy.

Not sure how much time before you travel, but I would be cautious about potentially stewing the seedlings in a mini hot-house.

Try to impress upon your grown son that his inheritance hinges on his ability to carry out this responsibility. :wink:

I like your attitude! Flying out this afternoon.

Seedlings in a plastic bag did well-temps did hit 91F and 93F on successive days at the one week mark but the seedlings were in the bright shade/filtered light area. Most have progressed well under plastic with great growth. No mildew. One rotted off-it was a Rosa minutifolia cross seedling and may have been more sensitive to that much humidity. Have planted 72 more seedlings out from early germination. Look forward to seeing some early flowers although from past experience the growth is really slow this time of the year. We are still experiencing unusually warm weather but these germinating seeds are not exposed to the outdoor fluctuating temps. Maybe I can get some early blooms.

There is a reply to that “your inheritance depends upon…” comment, Philip. “You know, mom, there are NICE nursing homes and then there are CHEAP nursing homes… and I will be the one making that choice.”

You make a point there, Kim, and I can already see my own child pulling that one…
…Come to think of it, I probably have made similar jokes to my own mother.
The one I do recall involves her “Dear Lord, if I ever get to be that bad off, just shoot me” comment that has occasionally elicited the, “Is it time, Momma? Is it time?” response when she begins complaining about how bad off she is getting in her old age. (It’s strangely effective at putting her in a better mood.)