This is a picture of my sad basil and pepper seedlings. They were in seed cells that didn't drain well in my closed cold frame during the very wet, cold weather last week. The seedlings have a problem called damping off. Its caused by a fungus that attacks the stem and makes the plant fall over and die. :( I brought the trays inside yesterday and put them under lights to warm up and dry out.
Cold, wet weather is hard for a cold frame. I didn't know whether to leave it open or closed. In retrospect, I suppose I might as well have opened the panels since there was no sun to warm it up. Any extra airflow might have helped.
I'm realizing that while raising all my seedlings in my cold frame this spring may have saved lots of lighting-dollars and time, some of my seedlings are small. In particular, basil, peppers, eggplants, and cabbages. Less so, but a bit smaller are my tomatoes. Next year I'll remember to keep these seedlings inside longer.
The ones that seem to be really happy outside early are marigolds, cosmos, onions, kale, leeks, lettuce, escarole and frisee, arugula and other greens.
I did baby my squashes, melons and cucumbers by keeping them inside until is was very warm and these are doing great. Next weekend should be a good time to plant these out in the garden.