This year is my first attempt at growing my entire garden from seedlings (store bought, saving seeds starts this year). I'm having difficulty hardening my plants. I live in West Michigan and the weather here is all over the place which makes finding days to stick plants outside very hard. My wife and I were planning on transplanting them outside this weekend but this week has little to no sun, a day that is supposed to get down in the 40s, and another that is supposed to be windy. We've put them outside whenever there's been a decent day, but they still seem weak. I put them outside a couple days ago when it was 75-80 outside and they were wilty after an hour and a half. I brought them in and they rebounded but then today I made a mistake by putting them in a room with a space heater to try and get them used to high temps. A few got wilty enough to bend all the way over midway up the stem. Some I think I can save, some are toast. I'm afraid they aren't ready to go outside yet, especially because our garden area is south facing with no shade after about 9-10am.
So, long story short, is there something I can do to harden them before this weekend, should I wait a week (they are borderline too big for the tray as it is), or is there a way to protect them outside if they start to wilt?
Sorry for the long post but we've invested a lot of time and would hate to see it go to waste. Also we started enough seeds t give plants to my parents/in-laws and a couple others so I don't want to let them down either.
Thanks in advance for the help.
(Edit: next week doesn't look that great either)