Can I harden off my seedlings now?
Any suggestions about the timing of getting my seedlings outside would be greatly appreciated.
I've got about 72 seedlings in a cell pak flat tray under fluorescent lights. They don't look so great right now. Super purple underneath, many have a yellowy brown color, leaves curling down, slow growth on some varieties. But some varieties look perfect. ???
All have had true leaves for a while now, and I know I need to pot them up - problem is I don't have room for 72 red plastic cups or 4" containers on my kitchen counter. :-) Also don't want to have to carry them in and out if I can avoid it. And, I don't have a way to get the fluorescent lights on all the seedlings once potted up.
Can I set out the tray outside for a few hours during the days now and bring the tray inside at night BEFORE potting up, and then just leave them outside 24/7?
I live in Los Angeles- temps this week predicted to be quite warm by Thursday, night time temps low 50's. We never get a real freeze.
This is only my 2nd year starting from seeds, so I don't have any experience to rely on but it seems to me that in my area it shouldn't be a problem to just get them outside? I could bring them into my garage at night but I don't think it's much warmer inside than outside. :)
Last question - how much time should I wait between hardening off & potting up, or does that matter?
Many, many thanks!