hardening off seedlings

dmarie7May 8, 2010

Hello all. I actually have 2 questions. I've been working

very hard for a weed to harden off some huckleberry seedlings and hot pepper seedlings. Now it looks like bad

weather for a good 10 days (that was as far as the extended

forecast would let me see). Will I lose all the ground I've

made on hardening off, or will they stay at whatever hardened off level they've reached? Also, is there a

guideline for when seedlings themselves are ready for

transplant, besides hardening off and outside temps? Should

they have a certain number of leaves?? Thanks for all the


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I doubt you'd be able to bring them back inside for 10 days and then put them back out for good. I think you'll have to restart the process. Not sure about the huckleberry, but every kind of pepper needs consistent warm conditions, which we will not have until June. I'd fear you'd lose those seedlings altogether if you leave them out, even under row cover. Being ready to transplant depends on the plant and the time of the season and if you've hardened off enough. Fedco seeds has a good planting guide for central Maine (link below), but experience is the best guide. I use the general rule that warm weather loving plants like tomatoes, peppers, melons, cucumbers, etc are best transplanted in June and covered most nights, even through the summer. And even then we can only hope for less cold rain and more warm sun!

Here is a link that might be useful: Fedco Seeds Planting Guide

    Bookmark   May 10, 2010 at 4:04PM
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very grateful for the info.i'll be cont. planting my peppers, as i just learned (yeah gardenweb) that theyre perennials. that way I could overwinter them and not have to do this again next year. i was thrilled w/the warm weather today. the huckleberries (only) went out all day. from 9 - 7. i watched them very closely the first few hrs as it was chilly, but they did fine. quite a breeze today too... i wonder how hearty they're supposed to be??

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 10:23PM
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