Senior Member
Posts: 293
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:04 pm
Location: Decatur, IL

Hardening Off

Okay, my broccoli and cauliflower are now up around 3-4 inches (well most), and I need to get them in the garden. How many days do you have to have to harden them off? I see 2 weeks on some things, a week on another, but worse case scenario to speed it up how long? Also can I put the smaller plants that aren't 3-4 inches out for hardening and put them in the garden too or should I just make it 2 separate plantings?

Here is our 10 forecast and that is why I want them in soon with hopefully the April Showers about to start.

Today: 71/45 pt cloudy
Thur: 62/36 cloud
Fri: 64/39 sunny
Sat: 68/46 mostly cloudy
S: 68/44 sunny
M:62/42 m sunny
T:61/42 sunny
W:63/45 M sunny
Th:66/49 cloudy
F:69/53 rain

I know this could change, but if I could get them in the garden on Wed of next week they would have the clouds for a day or 2 before some rain.

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Greener Thumb
Posts: 732
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2011 9:57 am
Location: Massachusetts

It sounds to me like you can get them started on hardening them off; put them out in the am, and leave them out for a while. bring them in when they start to droop (which is what I do, at least). However, if you started under lights I'm not sure what the best way to start is- I keep all my plants in the sun in a south facing window, so it's only the temps I need to acclimate them too, not the sunlight. For my brussels sprouts, I hardened off for 5 days- the first two out during the day with plastic bags, the 3rd out all day without, and the 4th and 5th out all day and night. If they make it through and still look perky- out into the garden they go!

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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25279
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

I would think it's about doable. Those are not temps that are going to stress your broccoli much (not too hot and definitely not too cold). So it's just getting them used to sunlight and breezes. Start by bringing them out to a place with only indirect light, no direct sun. Over the week keep gradually moving them into more sun. But yes, definitely time to get your broccoli in the ground.

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Cool Member
Posts: 75
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2012 8:23 pm
Location: Utah, USA

Yes it is time to start. I usually put them out in a partly shaded area during the day and bring in at night if temp drop below freezing. A week or too should do then plant into the garden.

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