Question about moving plants outside

greenthumb2011April 17, 2011

Hey Everyone

I Have a bunch of seedlings that I want to move outside and the temp is finally warm enough for me to feel ok that everything will be happy. Only problem now is the 10 day forcast only has one day of sunny weather the rest is all rain, chance of rain, or cloudy. The forcast for wind isn't bad though. So the Question is do I wait another week or so for a sunnier forcast or should I get everything out and just let them hang out with no real sun for a while?

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If your weather is anything like what we've got this week then it would be better to keep your plants inside...snug and warm and wait until warmer temperatures arrive.
We actually had snow flurries....albeit for just a few minutes, but blizxardly when it did show.
Promises, promises....we have to wait until end of next week to see 60's.

Normally plants that are put outside for spring/summer, are given a climatizing....i.e. put it out during daylight hours, back indoors at night; back outdoors when the day temperatures pose no problem, then back inside.
OUtside for longer periods each day but guard against frost. To that, a barrier to wind should be arranged..wind is the plant's nemesis cuz it can dry out the soil much faster than you might expect. Water to drainge, dump the excess and only fertilize when the plant is growing.
Consider the plight of the leaves if temperatures suggest a possible problem. Better to be safe and free of anxiety than to make spring come too soon and pay for your rush.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 5:31PM
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A cold frame is awesome for hardening off plants, as a sort of halfway house to prepare them for the colder outdoor temps.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 6:51PM
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The cut-off date for frost in our area is somewhere around May 15th... or a little earlier. But we get bouts of such nice weather way before that date, I feel obliged to take advantage of it, moving my plants and seedlings outdoors. But I keep them very near to a garage I can open and push them into in case the temperatures should drop.

A cold frame is a great item to have... but if you don't have one, or don't have room for one, there are other options... I've seen some folks use sheets or other temporary covers... or as I do, just keep the flats or pots close enough to a building, so you can bring them in quickly.

Sometimes, you can find those little plastic pop-up greenhouses fairly cheap... I found some a few years ago at Lowe's, and I think I paid about $7 each, so I bought 4.

Gardening is a game of patience, to be sure. At this time of year, it pays to watch the weather forecast, and go through the motions of keeping your plants safe.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 12:13PM
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