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Thread: Hardening off

  1. #1
    dexterdoglancashire's Avatar
    dexterdoglancashire is offline Mature Fruiter
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    Default Hardening off

    Can you give me some much needed advice please Grapes?

    I know I should harden off my plants before putting them in the ground. How long for?

    Could I possibly get away with hardening plants off for a week then putting them in the ground and covering them overnight with fleece at night?

    Thanks in advance!

    Bernie aka Dexterdog
    Bernie aka DDL

    Appreciate the little things in life because one day you will realise they are the big things

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    A week should be OK, DDL - depends really on what they are and what the weather's going to be like (if we only knew that). The whole point of hardening off is to get them used to conditions outside so they don't go into shock being transplanted from a warm cosy greenhouse straight into and open allotment or garden. I wouldn't put anything really tender such as tomatoes and courgettes out just yet.

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    If they're hardy plants that should be fine DDL, but I wouldn't plant out anything tender.

    From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.

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    Im thinking about peas and beans.....

    Bernie aka Dexterdog
    Bernie aka DDL

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    Your peas should be okay with hardeniong off and planting out just now.
    Unless they are spring planting broad beans (so if they are runners or French beans !) I would leave them for a bit yet as they are very susceptible to cold snaps, which are not too rare towards end of April or beginning of May.
    Rat

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    Hi DDL, my peas and broad beens are in the ground and doing great. But runner beans I haven't planted yet. Last year I planted them too early and they got so big I had to plant them before cold and frost was past. I had them all wrapped in fleece, looking like ghosts. They did fine, but if I had just planted them a bit later it would have saved a lot of work and worry. I'll plant mine next week.

    From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.

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    Hi DDL!
    Long time no speaks...! It does depend largely on whether you have the time and cloches/fleece or other available protectives to 'react quickly to the changing British weather'! Oh, and that's what I wanted to say.... with all this humour on the location front, I've now completely forgotten whether it's you behind the sofa with Beefy with Pigletwillie, or whether you're wishing you were on your allotment, or someone else's, or whether you've camped out at Waitrose in Monmouth.... Where are you growing from these days?! because peeps may be able to help you with advice better, knowing a rough location.

    It's funny you should bring this subject up really though, because at this time of year, I always get to the stage where I have grown, let's say Celeriac, as an example, and if you don't like that one, then winter squashes, or even something like Sweetcorn or Florence Fennel....
    When the books tell you that it's really important for certain crops to have a steady rate of growth, and not to be too stressed, and certain ones to transplant early because their root system cannot cope with the root disturbance later, etc.
    Well last week, completely fed up 'chasing my tail' watering, watering, watering, I got to thinking.... I have raised beds. These beds are right outside my kitchen door. I have greenhouses and coldframes. These are right outside my kitchen door. All my plants are right outside my kitchen door.
    Why the hell don't I actually plant them, cover them in 'cut-off redundant plastic litre+ bottles, fleece and cloches' straight into my raised beds now....?Why to I keep trying to harden them off from the greenhouse to the open air? Waste of Time Wellie.....The beds have been covered in said cloches for months to warm the soil up, my Celeriac was sown, so lovingly in January, and I'm so dead proud of to date, and the Sweetcorn and all the squash plants are 'gagging' for actual soil to sink their teeth into.
    On Sunny Days they are out there anyways!
    Because, as I see it, there's no point in holding a healthy plant back in a pot when you don't need to, because more damage is being done than good.

    My 'Elderly Next Door' does everything completely 'traditionally' and 'by the book' (without the book) and I would never dream to challenge how anyone else 'manages their plot', as what is forward thinking for one is not necessarily for another, nor helpful... and huge respect for people who think differently to me.
    It is hugely important as to exactly where you live to be able to take calculated decisions like this, and we live in the south of england, and having lived here only for 7 years, I'm confident in my judgements.
    I hope you make the right decisions for you DDL...
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    Thanks for that Wellie. I think you made a very good point about keeping the seedlings in pots may do more harm than good. I think I shall at least plant a few seedlings out and see what happens. Talking of weather......it's actually raining here in Preston today - can't believe it! At least there wasnt a frost last night!!

    Bernie aka Dexterdog
    Bernie aka DDL

    Appreciate the little things in life because one day you will realise they are the big things

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