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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?

Soaking up the Sun

February 28th, 2011

Yesterday was a beautiful day here at Chiot’s Run. We saw the sun, the weather was warm, up around 40 and the snow and ice we got earlier in the week was melting off. This is the time of the year when you really start to notice that the days are getting longer. The sun is higher in the sky and feels warmer when you’re outside. Since it was so nice, I put a flat of lettuce seedling on the front porch in the afternoon to harden off. I also left them out overnight so they could get used to temps a little colder than their basement home.

They’ll be planted out in my cold frame someday later this week if I have a warm day without rain. The nice thing about planting in spring is that you don’t have to worry as much about hardening off as far as the sun goes. The cold however is a different story I find. My front porch is perfect for hardening off, it gets the afternoon sun. The concrete floor warms in the sun and will keep seedlings warmer in the spring so I don’t have to worry about them freezing or getting nipped by frost.

The greenish yellow lettuce is ‘Little Gem’ from Burpee and ‘Sea of Red’ lettuce from Renee’s Garden is the reddish lettuce. I sowed this flat on January 18th, and had first germination on the 21st. I also sowed ‘Rouge Genobloise’ which didn’t germinate very well and ‘Sanquine Ameliore’ lettuce which didn’t germinate at all, both of these were from Baker Creek. I’m not sure what happened with these, I’m going to try sowing another flat with them. Perhaps I just got a bad batch of seeds, which happens on occasion.

Do you have a favorite spot for hardening off seedlings? Are you planting anything in your garden yet?

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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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