Not quite a year ago, I started some black and honey locust seeds. I planted them indoors and kept them well lit through the Winter. This Spring, after the threat of frost had cleared, I moved them outdoors. The best looking ones were transplanted into 5-gallon buckets, while some of the scraggly ones were left in smaller containers.
The ones in the buckets all perished, either from apparent natural causes or from critter activity.
However, all was not lost as some of the scraggly Honey Locusts came on. I now have them in the 5-gallon buckets, and have surrounded the opening of the buckets with cylinders made of wire that are high enough to keep the "diggers" out. They are growing well, but I have doubts that they will reach the prescribed 3-6 foot range that is considered ideal for transplanting by the end of this Autumn.
I half-way wonder if the issues the seedlings had this Spring were that they didn't really go through an "Autumn" season like they should have. They got a simulated Spring in my basement, and then were introduced to the wild in actual Spring. Even though the surviving seedlings may not be up to size for transplanting late this Autumn, should I go ahead and leave them outdoors over the Winter so that they can at least get used to the changing of seasons?
Also, if they get to be 3-6 feet tall by Spring, should I transplant them then, or wait until next Autumn?
BTW, the 5-gallon buckets do have drain holes drilled into them, in case anyone wonders. on edit: Also, I am in Central KY, if that makes a difference regarding the changing of seasons question.