joed2323
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the no harden off method

Ok i know some of you guys and gals have alot of plants more then i can handle, i only have about 45 plants under fluro lights, they have been under lights for about 3-4 weeks.

They need to go outside or in my portable greenhouse.
The problem is i leave for work at 4 am and when i get home from work its about 230 in the afternoon, usually the hottest part of the day.

I do not have time to run around before 4am and get all my plants outside, my wife will not do this for me, (it sounds too much like work for her).

What can i do to do a aggresive move to the outside?

Im contemplating just being the mean care taker and sticking them outside in my greenhouse, my greenhouse isnt heated if that makes any difference.

I know my tomatoes will go into shock, i have some pepper plants and some nice looking pumkin plants

Whats the chance i will still have half of my plants not die if i go through with this??

Some of you gardeners have the time to harden off your vegetables slowly but i cant see that happening with me.

I don't know if i should try and start it on say a thursday or a friday and stick them outside for half a day on saturday then a full day on sunday?? Even this still may be too much for me...

Thanks for anyones advice,

I guess if my plants all die i can go to the nursery and buy some but these are mine, i grew them from seed...

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hendi_alex
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Re: the no harden off method

What are your night time lows?
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applestar
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Re: the no harden off method

I don't understand. If you get home at 2:30, you could put them outside until the sun sets. Around here, there's already still light enough to see by at 8PM now.

I would start by setting them out where it's shady and protected from wind until the low setting sun hits them for an hour or so and gradually increase sun exposure duration until they can take it from 2:30 until sunset.

For cold tolerance acclimatization, leave them outside WHERE THEY WILL BE IN SHADE DURING THE DAY -- no direct sun -- in the portable greenhouse when night time lows are above tolerable levels -- start with mid-40's for tomatoes and I would think mid-50's for peppers (my peppers haven't spent the night outside yet except for a week of heat wave we had a few weeks ago.) Tomatoes should be fine without protection when it's upper 40's to low 50's.

Once they have been toughened a bit, tomatoes can manage mid-upper 30's in a double-covered unheated portable greenhouse or cold frame. Peppers can manage low-mid 40's.

Personally, I wouldn't ask anybody to move my plants in and out unless I'm exhausted and can't manage it -- then I might ask for help. It is a lot of work, and I have to reserve a certain amount of energy until the end of the day in order to get all the seedlings and potted plants situated -- bring inside if necessary and move to protected location or provide protection. The entire process takes me about an hour.
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estorms
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Re: the no harden off method

I bought a wagon at Sam's Club. I intend to finish putting it together today. I will be able to put all my surviving plants in it and just pull them out of the garage in the morning and move them around as needed. I have been leaving things out at night. The tomatoes got sunburned, but they are recovering. I potted up all my Romas last week and then forgot about them and left them outside all afternoon. Most of them died, but I still have about eight live ones. That will be more than enough. If I want to plant a little early, I use Hot Kaps. They are a waxed paper bubble to put over each plant.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: the no harden off method

I work and I harden things off gradually. It has to do with putting them in progressively less protected locations. When they first come out, they often go under a long bench on my deck, where they get no direct sun and are protected from wind. So I just put them under there and leave them all day. If it is still cold nights, they may come back inside for the night. After a couple days of that, they can come out from under the bench but still stay at the back of the deck near the house, where they get just a couple hours of morning sun and still some protection by the house. Then they gradually get moved to more and more sun, less protected locations. But each time they are out for the day. If temps are appropriate for them and they are hardened to them, then they stay out all night too.

I understand moving them at 4AM in the dark would be a bit of a hassle, but it is workable.
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joed2323
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Re: the no harden off method

My night time lows stay about or above 40 degrees sometimes mid to high 40s..
Day time highs range anywhere from the upper 50s to the 70s...

I guess I should try and put my plants outside when I come home from work but I do not have a lot of shade in my yard. I have a garage, maybe I can put them near the door in the shade?? Not sure if its too cold for them yet but if not I have a nice wagon that they would all fit on, I could pull them in and out easy

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hendi_alex
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Re: the no harden off method

If the highs are near 70 and the lows in the low to mid 40's, the plants can stay outside 24/7. Just start in the shade with a wind break, and over about a week move the plants toward full sun. A portable cold frame is always helpful in the transition, as plants can be placed outside a few weeks earlier, though they need to come in at night if the temperature dips below about 40 inside the cold frame.
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jal_ut
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Re: the no harden off method

I would move them out about 3:00 and put them on the west side of a building if possible and just leave them out. They won't get a full day of sun and likely do ok.
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joed2323
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Re: the no harden off method

Great info guys. Thanks

JAL_ut- do you mean just keep them outside after I put them behind my garage in the shade or at night time move them??

I will move my plants outside today when I get home.
How about my pumpkins what types of temps can they tolerate? I'm assuming if its warm enough for my tomatoes the pumpkins and peppers will be fine?

joed2323
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Re: the no harden off method

Great info guys. Thanks

JAL_ut- do you mean just keep them outside after I put them behind my garage in the shade or at night time move them?? Or did I misunderstand you, and put them in the sun??

I will move my plants outside todaywhen I get home, temps will be in the 70s all week.
How about my pumpkins what types of temps can they tolerate? I'm assuming if its warm enough for my tomatoes my pumpkins and peppers will be fine?

estorms
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Re: the no harden off method

I am in zone 5. I have had my peppers and tomatoes outside full time for about a week and a half. The tomatoes got sunburned and I had to move them under the picnic table, but the peppers were fine. I put them under there too, just to be safe. If we get weather in the 30's, I will bring them back in for the night. The lupines have been out also, I'm going to plant them before it rains.

valley
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Re: the no harden off method

Your portable greenhouse isn't very big I would think. Put the plants in there and throuw a tarp over it or part of it. Then pull the tarp off a little at a time. Then go inside, pour a large drink and think about those of us who are watching it snow.

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jal_ut
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Re: the no harden off method

JAL_ut- do you mean just keep them outside after I put them behind my garage in the shade or at night time move them?? Or did I misunderstand you, and put them in the sun??


Yes, I meant just leave them there on the West side for several days. I would not move them in unless there was impending frost. Yes, they would get afternoon sun on the West side of a building, but not all day sun. +/- trees. If you move them out in the afternoon when you get home, they will have a few hours of sun the first day.

I guess you could move them out at sundown and put them on the East side, then they would get morning sun instead of afternoon sun. I was just thinking that since you were not able to move them at certain times, you could limit their sun exposure time by placing them on either the West or East side of a building.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/- Plant a Garden

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jal_ut
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Re: the no harden off method

How about my pumpkins what types of temps can they tolerate? I'm assuming if its warm enough for my tomatoes my pumpkins and peppers will be fine?


32° F will damage any of the warm weather plants. My experience tells me to not worry unless it is threatening frost. They survive, even with cool nights. Yes, even if it gets down to the upper 30s, peppers, tomatoes, cukes, squash etc. do fine. If that were not the case, I would have a hard time growing anything here. Just watch the forecast and lookout it the prediction is for anything in the 30s. If its going to be above 40, smooth sailing.
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valley
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Re: the no harden off method

I agree, but I did bring in the peppers when I saw the snow. The temp in the greenhouse was 32,

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rainbowgardener
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Re: the no harden off method

jal_ut wrote:
How about my pumpkins what types of temps can they tolerate? I'm assuming if its warm enough for my tomatoes my pumpkins and peppers will be fine?


32° F will damage any of the warm weather plants. My experience tells me to not worry unless it is threatening frost. They survive, even with cool nights. Yes, even if it gets down to the upper 30s, peppers, tomatoes, cukes, squash etc. do fine. If that were not the case, I would have a hard time growing anything here. Just watch the forecast and lookout it the prediction is for anything in the 30s. If its going to be above 40, smooth sailing.


Well... I would qualify that a little. IF THEY ARE WELL HARDENED OFF and are still in pots, tomatoes and peppers can handle temperatures down in to the upper 30's. If you are just bringing them out from inside, they are very tender and temperatures that low are likely to blitz them. I would not bring tender plants out in to temperatures that low and if I were just starting to harden plants off and bringing them out for sun in the daytime, I would still bring them back in for the night at those temperatures. If they have been out and hardened off for awhile and are pretty sturdy, THEN if you get a cold snap and it goes back down to those temperatures, they will be ok.

For plants that are to be transplanted in to the ground, the most important temperature is the soil temperature. The squash and cukes especially are very vulnerable to cold soil and will be very set back.

For things that are direct seeded in the ground, the situation is very different. If the seeds sprout at all, the plants are automatically hardened and much less sensitive.
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joed2323
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Re: the no harden off method

ok guys, thanks for them help, my plants have been inside my portable greenhouse since 200pm with the windows and door open, it was way to windy outside for me to just stick them outside, so that why i put them in the greenhouse so it wouldnt have been like a tornado to the small plants...

they seem like they are loving the fresh air outside,look like they are enjoying the late afternoon/evening sun im thinking of leaving them out in the greenhouse overnight to see what happens...

i feel like im leaving my kids on the side of the road and driving off... Or like its the first day of school and im worried about them :?
Worse comes the worse i will come home from work tommorow and my plants will be dead :(

Its going to get down to 38 degrees tonight after being 80 degrees today... I sure hope the weather is off:eek: they are in my non heated greenhouse

This weather is just so brutal this year.. Global warming, yeah right more like global cooling

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jal_ut
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Re: the no harden off method

The squash and cukes especially are very vulnerable to cold soil and will be very set back.


I find the roots of squash and cukes to be very sensitive to root damage. Perhaps it is this more so than the cool? I think it is best to plant those things (pumpkins and squash) where they will grow. No transplanting. Sure makes it easier on the gardener too.

Right now is the time to plant pumpkins and squash. (seed directly in the garden)Wait another two weeks for cucumbers and melons.
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