Vance71975
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Is hardening off 100% Needed?

I have been looking up on hardening off plants and i seem to keep finding mixed answers, some say yes you have to, some say you don't need to, so i am a bit confused and due to time constraints i would prefer to avoid having to harden off if at all possible. I have about 30 days before i transplant anyway, so i figure by then, if they are still alive that is, they should be around 2 months old.

So do you HAVE to harden off plants such as peppers and tomatoes or can it be skipped?

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applestar
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I would say it's the more prudent course.
Can you go to the beach for the frst time in the season and stay out all day without protection? It's kind of like that. :wink:

There are things you can do instead, and weather on planting day and subsequent days plays a part as well.

Vance71975
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applestar wrote:I would say it's the more prudent course.
Can you go to the beach for the frst time in the season and stay out all day without protection? It's kind of like that. :wink:

There are things you can do instead, and weather on planting day and subsequent days plays a part as well.
Well i personally never use sun block and i only ever burn in a tanning bed lol. But i do understand what you mean, i was planning on planting them sometime around may 10th. By that point most of the really cold days should be behind us but it also wont be real real hot either, prolly 50-60ish here in Ohio.

the problem is time and the fact that i reside in a basement and my plants are sprouted and sitting in a grow tent, so to harden off i would have to drag them all upstairs and outside, then drag them all the way back to the basement etc every day, which is time consuming AND well quite frankly a PITA lol.

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rainbowgardener
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If the weather cooperates, there's other versions of hardening off. Bring them outside, but in an area with only indirect light. Cover them at night. Gradually move them to places with increasing amounts of direct sun.

But all that depends on temps staying above freezing. If it is going to freeze they have to come back in.

But yes, you can kill plants by just plopping them from warm and dim (indoors under lights is DIM compared to full sun outdoors) to cold/sunny/ breezy, etc.
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applestar
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Well, you don't burn because you are acclimated by use of tanning beds.

What I meant by weather is more like cloudy/overcast days. If you were to plant on the first overcat or preferably misty drizzly day with no strong winds, and it's going to be like that for the next three days or so/rest of the week without it getting too cold, you could probably skip hardening off.

You could similarly protect them with hoops and floating covers to block the strongest sun and wind as well as buffer the temperature fluctuations.

BTW, Peppers wouldn't be able to go out for at least a week after tomatoes.

Vance71975
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rainbowgardener wrote:If the weather cooperates, there's other versions of hardening off. Bring them outside, but in an area with only indirect light. Cover them at night. Gradually move them to places with increasing amounts of direct sun.

But all that depends on temps staying above freezing. If it is going to freeze they have to come back in.

But yes, you can kill plants by just plopping them from warm and dim (indoors under lights is DIM compared to full sun outdoors) to cold/sunny/ breezy, etc.
What % of a survival rate do you think they would have?

The problem being, other than the front porch i really have no where outside to set them safely, and the porch is full sun pretty much from sun up to sun down.

By May there should be no more freezing days, but then again this is OHIO after all and just when you think winter is over and spring is here you can end up with 3 feet of snow lol.

Vance71975
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applestar wrote:Well, you don't burn because you are acclimated by use of tanning beds.

What I meant by weather is more like cloudy/overcast days. If you were to plant on the first overcat or preferably misty drizzly day with no strong winds, and it's going to be like that for the next three days or so/rest of the week without it getting too cold, you could probably skip hardening off.

You could similarly protect them with hoops and floating covers to block the strongest sun and wind as well as buffer the temperature fluctuations.

BTW, Peppers wouldn't be able to go out for at least a week after tomatoes.
Oh no i only used that tanning bed once, and i burn like mad, never again. No what i meant is i can go from inside all winter to full summer sun and no burn at all.

Ok that i can do, buffering and such. Like i said i don't plan on moving them outside till at least may 10th, if they live that long, i am not real good with plants in dirt indoors lol, but i seem to be a beast at hydro so far lol.

Vance71975
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I guess my biggest concern is what are the odds that ALL my plants would die if i don't harden them off?

Timlin
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Honestly without some hardening off (and the longer the better) you WILL lose plants and possibly all of your plants. It's a complete shock to go from a coddled inside growing directly into the garden. If you want to test it harden off 1/2 your plants and do the other 1/2 direct........you'll quickly see the death rate or the set back rate.

I always think we shouldn't keep reinventing the wheel, this has been tested endlessly over a very long number of years.

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soil
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it all has to do with how you started your plants and where. if you started them inside under cheap lights you will need to harden them off. if you started them in a greenhouse you may only have to harden off for a day or two giving them shade then sun then shade then sun every few hours.

i start mine in a greenhouse, but whenever its nice and sunny they go outside, even when they are seedlings. i do not harden off. and experience no transplant shock.
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Vance71975
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soil wrote:it all has to do with how you started your plants and where. if you started them inside under cheap lights you will need to harden them off. if you started them in a greenhouse you may only have to harden off for a day or two giving them shade then sun then shade then sun every few hours.

i start mine in a greenhouse, but whenever its nice and sunny they go outside, even when they are seedlings. i do not harden off. and experience no transplant shock.
Well Mine were started in a Grow tent that has 6 CFL bulbs and 2 grow light 24 inch T8 bulbs. They are in Peat Plugs, and currently the tomatoes are not doing all that hot anyway, If they live till planting time ill be shocked, but the peppers are doing beautifully.

I also have some Back up seedlings that i just put in seedling starter mix a couple days ago, so if the first batch of tomatoes don't make it, i got back ups lol.

Vance71975
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Oh and all the CFL light bulbs are 100 watt or higher output equivalent and are a mix of 6500K and 2700K.

The T8 plant grow Lights are 40 watts total for the both of them and they appear kinda purplish to the eye.

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