At what outside temps would you start hardening off your plants? Is 50 and sunny good enough?
Temperature, winds and sun exposure are the main factors. I like minimum 60* F and little or no wind on the first day. Wind can really damage unhardened plants at even ideal temps.
I am liking anything above 65. However, we are having a lot of fluctuation of temps going on now. I put mine outside in the sun yesterday and it was about 70 degrees. Today the high is 44. On these colder days like today I dont put mine out. But what does this do to the harding off process? If you skip a few days because of mother nature, I am thinking that it has to extend the process correct?
2 days nice and harden off, then 4-6 days of to cold....
I will have a wait for 60 degrees. I think I have done it at 50 before with no ill affects. Also, if I do it one or two days in a row and then can't do it for several days, I don't think you really have to start from scratch or anything, they don't get soft that quick. I would just maybe set their schedule back slightly and keep going on schedule.
Just checked some normalized temperatures (based on 30 years of data) for my area and found:
Sure hope I don't have to wait for 70 before hardening off...
chohansen, You are certainly in a tough pepper growing climate.
Yeah, it's tough :( I'm planning to device a MacGyver green house of some sort. The temps above are averages, though. Day temperature is a little better. Last year the average temperature throughout the summer was 60, with 45 days of 68+. Not exactly tropical...
Yes, 60F or warmer, and little wind.
If there's wind, you can put seedlings in a cardboard box...a trick someone mentioned here.
I got one of those small 4 tier green houses for $15 on sale a couple months ago. I am gonna stick that outside and with some sun, I will get 60's and up even when it is in the 40's.