Do I need to harden off container plants in June?

organic_wonderfulMay 29, 2011

I was just wondering, if I have tomatoes, aubergines, peppers etc. do I need to actually put them in a cold frame for two weeks before they're moved outdoors, to harden them off? I live in Kent, the south east of the UK. If I could just move them straight outdoors it would be SO much more convenient.

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terrybull

did you start them from seed? if you did then they need to be harden off. if they are not harden off they burn under the cold frame.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 12:22PM
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organic_wonderful

^ I was going to harden them off WITH the cold frame. Why do you say they will burn under the cold frame? I'm confused as I thought a cold frame was meant for hardening off plants.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 12:33PM
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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

I don't think you need to use a cold frame unless you expect temperatures below 50F (10C ?). You just need to give them a gradual exposure to sunlight. In USDA zone 5, I give mine a few days in bright shade, then a few days in morning sun only and then pop them into the garden on an overcast/rainy day, or late on a sunny day if that's all we have. My eggplants and peppers have been outside for five days, and I plan to put them in their final containers tomorrow.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 12:37PM
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terrybull

the glass or plastic will magnify the sun. never used one but i guess if it is left open it would work. hardening off takes a week or more a little at a time.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 12:43PM
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organic_wonderful

But all the plants were started off in my greenhouse (which is getting stupidly overcrowded now) and have been getting quite a lot of sunlight. Does this mean I can just move them straight outside in June?

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 1:14PM
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terrybull

they will still need some harding off nothing compares with the sun and wind. what is your greenhouse covering glass?

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 1:20PM
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organic_wonderful

^ uPVC and the roof is polycarbonate. I guess a week in the coldframe would do? Is this right?

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 7:32PM
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