Hardening off/transplanting questions

cjohansenMay 19, 2013

1) I've been hardening off my plants for four days now. We've had great weather, and today my plants where out for 5-6 hours. Tomorrow the forecast says awful weather, with lots of rain. I can put the plants outside without being hit by the rain - is this still worthwhile, or should I just keep them inside until the weather turns again? If so - do I then start over with the 7-10 days of hardening off?

2) Many of my plants have peppers on them. A Ring of Fire plant has as many as 15, even though the plant is kinda small/stunted. Is it a good idea to pick all the peppers off before planting out, so the plants can focus on growing instead?

3) When a seed package says "80 days from transplanting" - why are plant's seasons measured from transplanting, and not sowing? When exactly is "transplanting"? When the plant is first potted on? Planted outside? Potted into its final pot?

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tsheets(5)

I would just leave them out in a somewhat protected spot unless it's going to be a severe thunderstorm or something. Last week, I made sure mine were tucked under a tree for protection when they were calling for rain.

I hate those days to maturity dates. They never seem to be anywhere near close for me.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 8:26PM
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Bill_Missy(8b)

If you can protect them from the rain even a little, I would still continue the hardening off process. I have never seen a seed packet reference from transplanting, but from germination. As far as #2, I personally would leave them be, but others may remove.

Bill

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 8:30PM
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woohooman

If the lows for the most part are in the 50's or above, I'd let them out at night and leave 'em. Of course protect them any harsh winds or rain.

Kevin

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 1:22AM
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cjohansen

Parts of the day actually saw good sun, but now it's cloudy and I'm waiting for the rain to start. I left the plants outside, but pulled them close to the house so I can open the awning if it starts raining. (btw, these are half my plants, I'm doing this in batches)

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 8:15AM
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CanadianLori(6a Oakville)

This is the piece of information that I have been searching for. The overnight lowest that new seedlings will tolerate. So 50F (10C) is the temperature to aim for? I'm really anxious to put them out. We've got lows of 9 & 10 forecast at the end on the week so I probably shouldn't think about moving anybody into the elements? (Yes, I think of them as my green babies..)
many thanks for any advice

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 2:22PM
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Bill_Missy(8b)

You should be fine. Just watch them if it does get to low. I had 3 week old seedlings spend 2 consecutive nights out side at 38-39f and a lot of nights low 40s and they are doing great. If it gets below 45 or so, I would consider bringing them in. 50's you will be oaky.

Bill

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 6:30PM
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cjohansen

Right now it's 1am and 14C/57F. Plants have been hardening off for five days, so I guess it's safe to leave them outside. I gotta admit, I'm scared stiff of leaving them out for the night, but one day will be the first :)

We're scheduled for some insane rain either tomorrow or in two days, so I'll hold off leaving them out until that's over with.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 6:58PM
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woohooman

Yep: Bill_missy is right. Mid to high 40's is fine for babies for hardening. I, myself, wouldn't bother for long periods(more than a week) at those temps because growth is almost nonexistent. They're better off inside.

Adults are much more tolerant. I've had short periods of frost before and they survived fine. Of course, short periods of frost where I'm at is a couple HOURS right before sunrise. ;)

Kevin

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 8:29PM
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cjohansen

My plants are no babies. The youngest are the tomatoes and Pontas (sweet peppers), which were sown mid-march. The rest is from early February, and some are already two feet tall.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 3:13AM
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