Hard(ening) Lessons Learned

It’s finally that time, we are going to harden off our plants.  Quick recap on this process:  hardening off is the process of slowly exposing the germinated seedlings to the elements in the week leading up to planting them.  We started with 1 hour on Saturday, 2 hours on Sunday, 3 hours today (Monday) and will eventually have them outside up to 8+ hours by Sunday (when we plant).

As we prepared to harden off our garden plants it really started to dawn on me how much we’ve learned.  Here is just a quick list:  1. Onions do not germinate well 2. Peat pots grow mold 3. Pepper seeds like warm soil 4. Avoid leggy seedlings by giving them more sun 5. I don’t know what the lesson is yet but it will have something to do with being able to germinate lavender 6. Thirty six tomato plants are too many and 7. Do not buy seeds that need to be planted earlier than you can till the garden.

I’m sure there are more lessons in there and I didn’t even mention the bees (which I will explain in another post).

Saturday was an exciting day in terms of the garden.  For weeks we’ve just been giving them water and watching them grow.  It was finally time to do something different (although transplanting them was something different I guess).  We took all of the plants off the shelf in the dining room, gently rolled the shelf to the garage and placed them back on the shelf outside.

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Do you see what I see?  All I see when I look at this is droopy tomato plants.  Those things are SO BIG!  I had to take some photos with them.  Lesson 8. do not plant tomatoes seeds too early.

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6 thoughts on “Hard(ening) Lessons Learned

  1. I transplanted our plants this past Saturday and Sunday and they were a little droopy too. Your Grandpa Sexton used to say “Nothing better for plants than an actual rain to help them grow.” Last night and today we got actual rain, couldn’t have planned it better, and lo and behold, the plants perked right up today. Even the onions, which were a sorry lot, look like they may have some life. Your Grandpa Sexton was wise in a lot of ways and he was dead on about the rain being the best way to water plants.

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    1. Huh, imagine that! When we were out of town mom collected some rain water and used it on the tomatoes. She has been saying she thinks it had something to do with why they got so big so fast. I imagine that’s some of his wisdom passed down. I’ll have to put a bucket out.

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  2. I agree about the onions. I only got a few and when I found how cheap it was to buy sets, I decided never again. I started hardening my plants off as soon as they sprouted. If it was over 45-50 degrees, they would spend the day out on the porch. They do grow slower, but they are stronger. I planted half of my garden today. Rain is moving in for the next couple of days.

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    1. I have to try one more time by seed. Do you buy your sets locally? Are they non-GMO?

      Also, we spoke about what makes a seed organic. I got into a conversation with someone about it recently and it was explained that the plant which grew the seed was grown as organic. So there ya go! (Still don’t completely understand the relevancy)

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      1. I bought them from a local nursery. They were in brown paper bags labeled “onions”. 🙂

        I don’t understand the organic seed designation. I’m not sure it really matters, although I tried to buy organic seeds if they were available.

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