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They Grow Up So Fast

May 20th, 2015

All the peppers and tomatoes are hardening off outside. I like to put them in a area with morning sun for two days before moving them to a sunnier spot. After acclimating a bit to the sun, they were moved into my low tunnel where they will stay a bit steamier. We’re still having nights in the 40’s with an occasional dip into the 30’s, the low tunnel will keep them warmer on these chilly nights. It will also keep the rain off of them, which can be a bit much at times for plants still in trays. This is my first year using a low tunnel extensively for seedling and I really love having it.
tomato and pepper seedlings
I’m in the process of preparing a bed for these guys. Last year it was in sod, which I smothered with cardboard. There are a few tenacious perennial weeds that sprouted up this spring, which I’ll be digging. I have high hopes for this new area, it’s a south facing slop below a rock wall. It’s pretty hot in the summer, so I think the tomatoes and peppers will enjoy it.

How do you harden off seedlings to get them ready for the garden?

2 Comments to “They Grow Up So Fast”
  1. bonnie knox on May 20, 2015 at 9:53 am

    The south slope sounds exciting. What kind of soil do you have? My soil is a sandy loam, so the thing I have to worry about is drying out. On the other hand, my mom gardens in a heavy clay. She has never irrigated; her problem has been with waterlogged soil, though she managed to grow veggies for a large family anyway.

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  2. Nebraska Dave on May 20, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    Susy, hardening off is a process here. Days outside and nights inside for about a week, then if the temperatures are upper 40s or in the 50s, the plants stay outside only to be brought in if the temps dip down to 40 or below. I’m just about ready to start the zucchini. I learned that if they are planted outside the first part of July the harvest is still plentiful but the cycle of the borer worm is less likely to damage the zucchini plants. I am going to start and grow the plants in cottage cheese containers to get them started before putting them in the ground. Hopefully, they will turn out to be stronger plants. The weather here is still cold. The high today is 55 degrees and the low tonight is 41. Then 70 for a high tomorrow but still in the 40s at night. The tomatoes in the five gallon buckets are growing but the ones left out are not maturing but just setting there shivering. Once it warms up they will take off and start growing. It’s just a matter of time now.

    Have a great hardening off day.

    Reply to Nebraska Dave's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but just recently moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine.

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