What happens when seedlings spend too much time in planters

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As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, we planted our seeds inside in various pieces of trash. Chinese food containers, egg cartons a plastic lid, they all worked great.

At first.

Once our sugar snap peas sprouted, there was no stopping them. They seemed to grow several inches a day and eventually we had to string them up. My husband created a sort of lattice out of twine and few spare boards.

The peas were happy once more.

But as the cold temperatures continued and weathermen/women continued predicting night frost, we hesitated to put them outside, even when it became obvious they were past the “seedling” stage.


Unfortunately, we’ve lost those beans. They outgrew their planter within days and dried up without deep enough soil and space to reach upwards.

According to the University of Maine Cooperative Extension publication about starting seeds at home, you can harvest flowers and veggies four to six earlier if you start seeds inside.

But there’s a caveat.

Like my beans, plants need space to grow. Many mature quickly, including beans, carrots, corn, peas, spinach, turnips and zucchini making them easy to direct seed despite Maine’s short growing season.

Lesson learned. Getting ahead isn’t always the right thing to do.

Have you ever started seeds too soon? What did you do? Is there anyway to save my poor snap peas?

Natalie Feulner

About Natalie Feulner

Natalie Feulner is a journalist and “semi-crunchy” cloth diapering momma to a rambunctious toddler named after a county in California. She drinks too much tea and loves to climb rocks but not at the same time.