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rainbowgardener
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tomatoes and peppers in or out?

So I have all these tomatoes and peppers (and a bunch of other stuff, but the tomatoes and peppers are the tenderest) sitting out on my deck, hardening off and waiting to be planted or sold.

Tonight and tomorrow night it is predicted to go down to 36 degrees, which is a little cold for them.

But the prediction for tonight says temperature does not dip below 40 degrees until 4 AM and then by 9AM it is back up to 40. I am often a degree or two warmer than the prediction, especially on the deck which is backed up by the house, so protected.

So what do you think... can I risk leaving them out through these two nights or do I have to bring them back in? They are big sturdy plants (though some of the tomatoes have gotten a little leggy) and many of them are blooming already.
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Re: tomatoes and peppers in or out?

If they're mostly hardened off you can probably get away with leaving them, especially if they're spending the night outside and temps are already around 40. If you're worried just cover 'em up for the night. :) I've learned not to coddle my plants too much, or they get spoiled and throw fits when the weather doesn't go their way.

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applestar
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Re: tomatoes and peppers in or out?

I would leave the tomatoes out but cover them as well if the tendency is for the temps to be ABOVE what is forecast. I think I would bring the peppers in though.

I usually get 2-3 degrees LOWER than forecast, so I wouldn't trust any of them outside with a 36°F forecast. Only the cool weather crops. I just uppotted the last of the cabbages, kohlrabi and parsley and they're going outside for the weekend. This made room for the eggplants and peppers that needed to be spread out while they wait to be uppotted until after this drop in temp.
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gixxerific
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Re: tomatoes and peppers in or out?

Rainbow I keep mine out above 40 maybe 38. 8)

Supposed to be 36 tonight and as much as I don't' want to I have to bring 30+ seven gallon pots in for one night. I thought about covering them but that's too many to loose. If it were 3-4 plants I would give them the test.

Now that is for tomatoes, peppers are not outside yet still too cold for them in my opinion. I would definitely bring them in for the next few day's.

Good luck RBG

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gixxerific
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Re: tomatoes and peppers in or out?

Just checked the latest forecast now it's 32 tonight, uh oh I have one in the ground. I will take care of it though. But than back up from 52 tomorrow to 70 on Mon but down to 33 Mon night, welcome to MO.

What do you do? I feel I planted too early again. At least my dwarfs, the non dwarfs I think will be just about right.

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Re: tomatoes and peppers in or out?

oh what a slippery slope we slide . . .
when we first the weatherman belie.

on the bright side, if they all freeze, saves you the trouble of having to sell them.

personally I do not risk it. in them come.

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Re: tomatoes and peppers in or out?

That will be us tomorrow night (34°F patchy frost after midnight) and Sunday night (36°F). Tonight, I've left the tomatoes, celery, alyssums, and the banana plant out side in the approaching thunderstorm (Dillbert's getting it now probably) with possibly 1" of rain. This way they will get thoroughly watered before coming in tomorrow night.

The Main Pepper seedling flat and the densely planted peppers/eggplants, basils, toothache plants, Mexican Mint Marigolds, and Malabsr spinach webflat came back inside.

There is one weather station that is forecasting 48°F instead of 55°F for tonight like every other station. :?
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Re: tomatoes and peppers in or out?

lol....I just logged on to ask pretty much the same question, with this follow-up:

So, our 90% last frost date is somewhere in the first week of May. After Sunday night, the 10 day forecast shows no night time lows lower than about 40. Stick them in the ground Monday or wait a few more days just to be sure?

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Re: tomatoes and peppers in or out?

Well I did bring in a whole bunch of tomatoes, peppers, and basil. By midnight last night, they were already looking a bit wilty and worse for wear. I'm glad I did, because at 8 AM I went out and there was frost on my car windshield.


I think they can just stay in today and rest and recuperate since the forecast for tonight is 34. Sigh... we are already past average last frost date. Our lows for this time of year would normally be 45. It's been a difficult spring so far.
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Re: tomatoes and peppers in or out?

Jaypoc if your plants are not too big I would let them go another week, I am and mine are almost too big. What is your ground temp? That is more important than air temp, 65+ degrees is where tomatoes like it.

Glad you got everything in RBG. I one in-ground plant died and I lost a bunch of basil. Time to replant that.

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Re: tomatoes and peppers in or out?

So I'm still struggling with it. They were in for awhile and are back out right now and I still am going in or out tonight? But I swear this will be the LAST cold night (I so decree it!!)
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Re: tomatoes and peppers in or out?

yeah....they're not too big. I up-potted them last weekend to solo cups. Supposed to get down in the mid 30s tonight...which leads to this question. Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny and somewhere around 60. When I leave for work, it will be less than 40. Put them out or no? I'd hate to lose ground on the hardening...

For what its worth, I put them out the last two mornings when it was in the low 40s...

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Re: tomatoes and peppers in or out?

IMHO --If it was cold during the day, ground won't provide the thermal to protect them like it did the first night. Be even more conservative on the 2nd night of frost warning.
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Duh_Vinci
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Re: tomatoes and peppers in or out?

Oh what a roller-coaster for us too!

Dipped into low 30's two nights ago, but this morning was 29F... Covered as much as I could, as well as I could. Already at work, had to scrape ice off the windshield, and still have no clue to what the garden looks like...

I have 5 tomato plats in the ground for 2 weeks now (covered with trashcans), dwarfs and peppers in containers on the deck (covered with landscaping cloth) and 4 extra earlies in the buckets along garage wall on the south side (not covered), though I parked the SUV right along the, hopefully the warmth from the concrete and the SUV would be sufficient barrier?

And 4 trays of 6" potted transplants (hardening off) - actually put them in the garage last night, so i know those are safe!

Will see when I get home I guess. Good luck to all "risk takers" out there!

Regards,
D

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Re: tomatoes and peppers in or out?

They did come back in last night, but later today will go back out and then some more stuff will come out from the basement and more will go IN THE GROUND ...

The 10 day forecast is mostly for highs in the 60's and 70's and lows in the high 40's and 50's - except of course Wed and Thurs nights predicted for 40 and 38. This time of year drives me crazy.
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Re: tomatoes and peppers in or out?

Yes this is the crazy time if the year. I did loose one plant so not too bad.

Got my mators ( in pots) back outside I actually potted up about 10 more. That is that many more to bring in Tue night.

Oh we'll this is it I think. The rest of the dwarfs are hardened off and the regular garden tomatoes are right on track to go in mid may give or take.

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Re: tomatoes and peppers in or out?

Well, I'm home and happy to see there is no total loss...

Every Cuke, every squash and every well covered tomatoes got some frost bite, but nothing they would recover from, will pinch off those frost bitten leafs in a day or two...

However, the four "earlies" between the garage and the SUV i parked right along the side - not covered, and not a single frost bite! Heated by the south side sun concrete and metal of SUV shielded those nicely!

I hope all is well for you all too!

Regards,
D

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Re: tomatoes and peppers in or out?

Glad to hear your plants made it through DV :D
My bunch huddled under the patio table seem to be OK too. I also left some winter indoor determinates that may have some life left outside under the trees :twisted: and they may have pulled through.

Everyone else that are too big to fit under the lights are being hustled in and out of the garage. I took them out in the full sun after temps rose to 48-50°F and will probably be bringing them back in again later. They sit in the dark in the garage to prevent unwanted directional growth. Ones that can fit under the lights are staying there and will just have to be re-acclimated, but I'll have plenty to keep me busy planting after this last bit of wintry gasp is over.
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Re: tomatoes and peppers in or out?

Everything is staying out tonight. Some purple basil that had been planted is looking kind of shrivelly from cold, but most everything else is ok so far.
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Re: tomatoes and peppers in or out?

Brought mine in again tonight since the forecast is 40°F so strong probability that we'll have another drop in the 30°s.

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Re: tomatoes and peppers in or out?

Well, mine is up to a dozen trays now of tender stuff, so I am avoiding bringing it all back in whenever I can. Currently at 7 AM, intellicast says it is 41 and probably a couple degrees warmer on my deck, so probably every thing was ok. I haven't been out yet, but have looked out the windows at it and it all looks ok. Only predicted to go down to 50 tonight but the weather report currently has wed and thurs at 37 and 38, so I will STILL be having this debate! :shock: There's only a few weeks of the year I really wish I had a greenhouse. This is one of them.
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Re: tomatoes and peppers in or out?

I know you do a lot of hiking and outdoorsy stuff -- do you have a tent?
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Re: tomatoes and peppers in or out?

applestar wrote:I know you do a lot of hiking and outdoorsy stuff -- do you have a tent?
I was thinking something along them ways Apple. I need to bring my, now, 47 dwarfs in pots tonight and it has been raining all. Which means I have to bring in 47 wet, heavy plants that will soon leak all over the floor. :cry: Only to bring out the next day. :evil:

I have a canopy I thought about making a temp greenhouse out of instead of bringing them all in again. I actually thought about the tent too, great minds think alike.

Only supposed to be 38 tonight in St Louis but I will be cooler here and it is just not worth losing all these plants.

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Re: tomatoes and peppers in or out?

I really need to plant some! Flower buds (still tiny) on quite a few of those seedlings. :bouncey:

..but they are still predicting 41°F thurs night, 36°F :shock: fri night, then 41°F again Sat night. :?

I left them out there tonight and the forecast is now 43°F :|
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Re: tomatoes and peppers in or out?

Sigh... everything (a baker's dozen of trays) is back indoors. The last time I checked the forecast yesterday evening, they had revised it downwards to 33 with frost warnings. So the 13 trays came back in and four more that should have come in, but there wasn't room for got moved against the house wall and covered.

We are way past the 50% last frost date and closing in on the 90% probability of no frost date... Lots of the plants are looking quite raggedy at this point.

It's all going to just stay in today, because tonight is still cold too and THEN we should finally be done with near freezing temps! :shock:
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Re: tomatoes and peppers in or out?

Everything's getting planted tomrorow. I only have seven tomato plants and six peppers, so it's not a lot of work really. But I don't have much room for error since these are heirlooms I order online. It's pretty hard to find what I want at the local nurseries around here.

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Re: tomatoes and peppers in or out?

I'm with you RBG and I am as tired of it as you. We have basically the same weather patterns and frost dates.

I put my dwarfs back out today (Thur 25) they are staying, barring any 32's god forbid. I am planting this weekend too, like you said some plants are looking raggedy' they are outgrowing their pots. They need some good 'ol fashioned MO soil and soon.

Good luck my friend I have a good feeling about this year, as with every other year but this year I mean it. :mrgreen: :-()

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Re: tomatoes and peppers in or out?

As soon as it warms up today everything is going back out. This weekend stuff will get planted/ sold. My tend day forecast now has mostly nights in the 50's, having mostly skipped the whole 40's thing ...

If I went just by this year, I would say I started everything too early, even though in fact I started later than usual. But if next year, I go by this year's dates, I will probably end up wishing I had plants sooner. Oh well . . .
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Re: tomatoes and peppers in or out?

Oh sigh ... Went out to check the temps, and discovered a tray of basil that I just managed to miss when I was bringing things in, in the dark in the middle of a crowd of plants. They are very shrivelled now, not for sure dead though...
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Re: tomatoes and peppers in or out?

Oh, bummer. :( Yeah, basils are divas. Mine are all bruised from wind gusts that I didn't take into consideration. :?

I keep wanting to take all my 40's and above plants out for good, but they keep sprinkling the forecast with 30's.... Some of them are clustered around windows in various parts of the house and will be too complicated to haul back in, so either they are in, or they are out.

Supposed to be 36°F tonight. Maybe THIS is the last one?
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Re: tomatoes and peppers in or out?

Geez, sounds like y'all are really getting the runaround from the weather! This year spring has been weird all over. Hope you guys have good luck with the rest of spring!
I too wish I had planted sooner, but we had late frosts, hail and freezing rain and even snow :shock: that killed off the first batch of seedlings when I thought we were in the clear. So, we started over in early Feb. Well, now the forecast says 99F on Mon and the maters already look like they may not set any more fruit this year. If that's true I'll get about 6 pieces of fruit from each plant. :cry: We can control many things in our gardens, but in the end nature has the final say.
Perhaps it's time for me to re-read apple's Winter Indoor Tomato thread and buy some seeds and do my own Summer Indoor Tomato Project. :wink:

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