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Hardening off for temporarily indoor seedlings

Posted by sconnielill 5, Milwaukee (My Page) on
Sat, Apr 17, 10 at 13:37

When my seeds first started sprouting we had that exciting bit of very warm weather. Since I don't have lights and my south windows aren't very big, I decided to take my trays out. I bring them in for the evening if it's going to get below 50F (though I did forget and let them stay out one night when it got down to 42F). It's very windy & sunny where they live and I don't use covers (they always blow off anyway).

Well, my tomato seedlings are doing great, just about time to start thinning them. The chilis couldn't handle the one cold night so I've started them over again. Other things are more cold tolerant and doing well. Surprisingly that includes my morning glories & moon flowers.

I have two questions really. First, has anyone else used this method to avoid a gradual harden off? Second, if we get a cold spell, how long could they stay inside before I would have to do the gradual harden off?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Hardening off for temporarily indoor seedlings

It depends on so many factors.

The reason we harden off is because the seedlings cannot take the intense sunlight after being inside their whole life or the wind because they have been sheltered inside.

Your plants will tell you when they are ready for the elements.

Do they stand up straight or bounce right back from wind? And do they look happy in full sun (if they are full-sun plants)

If yes, they are ready for their final homes.

This may take 1 day of 10 days depending on who, what, where and why.

You will know your plants the best.


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