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Soaking up Some Sun

April 18th, 2018

This time of year, I carry my flats of seedlings in and out so they can get some real sun. Like gardeners, they do much better when able to spend lots of time outside. Eventually, I’ll have a small greenhouse, then I won’t have to do this chore.

Typically, I’m already transplanting seedlings in the garden, but this year spring is taking a long time to arrive. That’s OK with me, it gives me more time to get some of the other necessary chores out of the way. Though I must say, space under the grow lights is becoming very limited!

How do you harden off seedlings?

Leaving the Nest

March 7th, 2016

The little lettuce seedlings I planted in the low tunnel last week are doing great, they survived those single digit nights with flying colors. Since they did so well, I started hardening off two flats of greens that are ready to go into the tunnel and into the potager.
hardening off lettuce seedlings (1)
It’s nice that the weather is finally decent enough for these guys to leave the nest, I’ve got more flats that need to be seeded and put under the lights. In a few weeks these lettuces will be ready to harvest and eat, gotta love having homegrown goodness on my plant in mid-March in Maine!

What are you doing in the garden this week?

Gearing Up

April 6th, 2013

I started hardening off my first round of seedlings, gearing up to plant the first round into the soil.  Most of them are onions, they’ll be planted out as soon as I can find space for them.  The rest are brassicas and they’re just beginning to germinate.  They get to stay out all day since they haven’t been softened by living under lights.  Hardening off seedlings can be a little bit of a chore.  I’ve heard horror stories of gardeners forgetting and leaving things out too long, finding their hard work scalded by the sun.  This time of year, the sun still sin’t quite hot enough to do too much damage, at least here in the north, but I still make sure I don’t leave them out all day.
hardening off seedlings 2
The easiest way to harden off seedlings is to find a spot in your garden that gets morning sun and afternoon shade, that way you don’t have to worry about bringing them in halfway through the day.  Then you can do the opposite and give them afternoon sun and morning shade.  After a few days of each they should be ready for full sun.
hardening off seedlings 1
My biggest concern with my seedlings is the chickens.  At first I had them on the picnic table, but I spotted the chickens eyeing them longingly.  Now they’re in the garden surrounded by a fence.  The fence also helps protect all the seeds that I’ve already planted as well.  Eventually there will be a permanent fence around this potager, but that will have to wait until it’s expanded.  Until then, the electric fence (which isn’t turned on) is working out quite nicely.

Any tips/tricks to share for hardening off seedlings? Have you ever sunburned seedlings? 

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Shop through these links and I get a few cents each time. It's not much, but it allows me to buy a new cookbook or new gardening book every couple months. I appreciate your support!

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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 moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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