Q.Is 60 Degrees F. At Night Too Cold For Flower And Herb Seeds To Germinate?
Hi, As most of us are aware, climate change seems to be an unavoidable fact that we have to live with today. I remember how easy it used to be to get seeds to germinate in containers while they sat on my front porch for a few days. Over the past few seasons, however, I’ve had more failures than successes, and a lot of wasted seed, not to mention wasted time. It seems the nights are too cold in general. It looks like our zone 6 summer might be on the cool side once again, with night time temps running around 55-60 degrees. I could grow some seedlings indoors till big enough to transplant, or leave in a pot, depending on what kind of plants. But I don’t have much space in my home, even if I bought an artificial grow-light kit to help the lighting situation. —— So, any thoughts or advice? I have packets of unused seed, and the time for sowing them is getting short; here we are into early June. —- Thank You
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Unfortunately, it is true that we are at the mercy of the solar cycles. We can only work around them, as we know and can predict how they will trend. 2019 marked the start of what is known as the "Grand Solar Minimum". This brings about, as you have noticed, generally cooler temperatures.
Unfortunately, each large cycle lasts about 400-500 years. Now, with that being said, we do get breaks every 11 or 12 years, or so. Generally, the temperatures will trend upwards during a cycle, but then after 2 or 3 of those, it will drop just a little more than it rose.
For now, You may have to plan for a zone lower, each year. (I try to account for a zone below and a zone above, to accomodate yearly swings, and 12 year averages.)
This may mean keeping indoor seedlings for a few weeks longer, and having emergency plans for cold weather. Still, with that being said, Those temperatures are just perfect for warm season crop germination. I'm afraid that the window for any cool season crops that take awhile has been missed, already.
When you do have to go indoors, try growing on slanted shelves! This can maximize your space by being able to light multiple levels, completely.
Here are some articles that will help: