More Hardening Off Tomato Concerns
I feel like such a dummy for having so many continuing questions with hardening off my tomato plants. But I haven't any experience under my belt yet in coping with this year's weather extremes - which IMHO have been even more extreme than the extremes we usually have learned to expect and contend with. I have so many thoughts, concerns, ideas, and doing a whirling dervish that I feel completely stymied and unable to commit to doing anything all.
The tomato plants are indoors under their T-5's and they are NOT happy at all. Between having them outdoors for 3 days and now being inside for almost 3 days, they have gotten tall and gangly as a prepubescent girl and they look just as awkward under light set ups that are much too short for them, and in pots that are too small for them. I am having nightmares of being in a room with walls that closing in tighter and tighter, and I don't have any magic tea to drink that will make me shrink to fit the space. My Tomatos are invading my dreams, for gosh sakes!
I know I can trench some in the ground and the remainder in the bigger, deeper containers.
Hardening off is the bigger issue. If I take them out, would they be okay to stay out overnight? Temps in the 40's tonight. I could cover them. Or, would it be better to keep them inside until tomorrow? For various reasons I am not able to bring them in and out over and over. The area I use to start the hardening off process is a heavily protected microclimate. I usually put them there for 3 days or so. Then I move them into brighter light situation for another 3 days approx. Then into partial shade/sun, and the next step would be full sun to be planted out. I've always done this and plants have done well.
But the bringing in and out is not practical for me.....well, except for this week when threatened by freeze.
Just need to know your thoughts on taking out today/tonight.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.