Return to the Cutting Garden Forum | Post a Follow-Up

Hardening off Snapdragons

Posted by farmgarden z4-5 (My Page) on
Sun, Apr 9, 06 at 17:53

Hello everybody -

Have a quick question about getting out Snaps for planting in the field this year.

My Snapdragons for cutting have been growing in a greenhouse and are a good 3 to 4 inches tall. The greenhouse has side curtains that open on good days so the plants have gotten a lot of fresh air and look really strong and healthy.

This next weeks weather won't go below freezing according to the report, I would like to get these plants outside into a cold frame as early as possible. How soon is the very earliest they can be planted into the ground outside? I know the seedlings can take a light freeze, but what if it gets really cold again? Will they be able to handle that? I do use seaweed as a foliar spray and I think it does help plants handle the cold better. Anyone with experience with planting out snaps early? Thank you for any help.

- Jeff

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Hardening off Snapdragons

Hi, Jeff... my zone is warmer than yours but as far as I understand snaps can handle a pretty heafty cold snap. Mine have been out in the ground for about 2 weeks now and it has got down to 35 degrees and they couldnt have cared less. According to Armitage, snaps can handle temps down to 25-28 degrees if properly hardened off, otherwise they produce 'snapper soup'. Good luck.

RE: Hardening off Snapdragons

If they are greenhouse snapdragons, they cannot handle 25-28 degrees. We grow Potomac in our hightunnel. At those temperatures, they would be toast. They aren't any hardier than peppers and eggplant.

Rocket and Spring Giant are more cold tolerant. I don't thing you would be growing Rocket in the coldframe however. Spring Giant is suitable for both the coldframe and field production.

This week our lows are supposed to be in the 40s. It's a good time to move some of these plants to the coldframe. If it's going to get down near freezing, and you are growing actual greenhouse snapdragons, you'll want to cover them at night with row cover.


RE: Hardening off Snapdragons

So, will they be planted out permanently into a cold frame, or is that in intermediate step before planting out? If it's just an intermediate step, and the cold frame is covered, and you're unlikely to get really low temps, you could do it now. The cold frame will protect from some frost. If the cold frame has a glass top and nice thick sides, it will protect from quite a lot of frost. If it's going to get REALLY cold, you could throw a row cover over them inside the cold frame. I'm hindered by not knowing where you are and not knowing your last frost date, and not knowing what your cold frame is made of.

I plant my snaps out around two weeks before the last frost, after hardening off, of course. Here, that's around late May, and it's still too early to put anything out in a cold frame now - but my "cold frame" is only made of with greenhouse poly over hoops, so it only protects from a few degrees of frost.

This is all assuming these are outdoor snaps, not greenhouse types, since you'll be growing them outside.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Cutting Garden Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here