Should I put my squash seedlings on my glassed porch until it’s time to plant outside?


I have a question about how to care for seedlings while waiting for the weather to get warmer so I can plant outside. I have some butternut squash seedlings that aren’t ready to plant outside yet because of weather, but are showing their true leaves and are 6-8” tall. I have some smaller Moonflower and Morning Glory in the same tray. Can I put them on my glassed in front porch so my smaller seedlings can be placed under the light I have?


Jonathan Foster, Home Horticulture Outreach Professional

They are ahead of schedule, so if the glassed-in porch is nice and sunny, that’s probably a good holding area for the seedlings. It should be warm with the greenhouse effect of the windows, but I would keep an eye on temperatures and bring them in if we get an unexpected cold snap. You are really just trying to keep them at a good temperature and well-lit for a couple more weeks until they get into transplanting territory. Because the plants are nice and robust at this point, and will get a modified hardening off period on the porch, anyway, you can probably cheat a week or so early in putting them out in the garden (I would still officially harden them off, but you could start a little sooner than the calendar below suggests).

Next season, I would recommend fighting off the urgency we all feel in the spring to get seeds going, and starting them a little bit later than this year. MOFGA (the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association) has a nice seed starting/planting calendar here.

Happy gardening.