Ask a Question forum: Starting seeds in a sunroom

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lthomas56
Dec 14, 2014 8:24 PM CST
We just built a sun room so that we can not only winter over some plants but can start seedlings in January or February. I live in Southwest New Mexico. This is the first year to try this and any information on what I need to do to successful seed starts would be greatly appreciated.
Name: Elaine
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dyzzypyxxy
Dec 16, 2014 11:17 PM CST
Hi and welcome! The most important thing for starting most types of seeds is to keep the humidity up. Going to be a bit of a challenge for you with your desert climate. But you can buy good seed starting kits with a tray that includes the medium (planting mix to plant the seeds in) and a clear plastic 'dome' thing to cover the tray so that the seedlings don't dry out.

Check your local nursery, or Lowe's or Home Depot often have them as well. I get mine online from Burpee.com

A fairly constant temperature while the seeds are germinating (before they come up) is also important. Don't let them cool off too much at night. I used to live in Utah, (also low humidity) and would put the seed trays on top of the fridge to keep them warm during the nights.

Then, when your seedlings come up, gradually move them towards more and more sunlight. Be careful if you use the plastic dome, that you prop it up to vent in the daytime so the seedlings don't 'cook' once they are in the sun.
Elaine

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Weedwhacker
Dec 17, 2014 8:57 AM CST
Welcome to ATP, lthomas56 !

We added a sunroom to our house a few years back -- mostly because summer often means too many mosquitoes to enjoy actually sitting outside! One problem I've had in terms of even overwintering plants such as geraniums (Pelargoniums), as well as with seedlings, is that we used windows with "low-E glass," which is great because the sun isn't so harsh coming in during the summer, but not so great for the plants, which tend to grow leggy and weak. Here in the north, though, our winter sun is at a lower angle than where you are, so that might make a significant difference as well, but you may find it necessary to supplement with fluorescent lights for seedliings. Smiling
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lthomas56
Dec 17, 2014 9:14 AM CST
Thanks for the good information and sharing your experience. I had thought about the flourescent lights, but not about the humidity issue. It gets about 50 degrees in the room at night, but close to 70 in the day. I do have a fridge out there, so maybe moving the seedlings up there at night would help. And, yes we do have the low e-glass windows and wondered about that already. Again, thanks for your reply(s).

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