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hardening tomatoes

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hardening tomatoes

Post  laufenberga on 5/2/2012, 6:08 pm

Ive been growing my tomato seedlings indoors for the past few weeks and they've been getting too big for my indoor operation. My last avg frost date is around May 7th, although I've checked to forecast ahead and it doesn't look like we have any chance of that happening within the next ten days. I've been wanting to get them transplanted and originally I was supposed to be busy this weekend but got some free time in my schedule which I just found out last night. SO....I decided to start hardening them outside today(wed) and was wondering if it would be alright to transplant them outdoors Friday afternoon, saturday morning, or possibly sunday afternoon, or if they need to be hardened off longer.



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laufenberga

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Re: hardening tomatoes

Post  givvmistamps on 5/2/2012, 7:08 pm

What are your forecasted temperatures going to be? Will it be an extreme change from the temperature the (overgrown) seedlings are accustomed to? If so, could you possibly put up a frame of some sort and cover them at night so more heat will stay inside the cover and they'll have less of a shock?
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Re: hardening tomatoes

Post  RoOsTeR on 5/2/2012, 7:20 pm

What I have done in the past with tomato plants that I have bought, is take a 5 gallon bucket and just cut the bottom out. I then place over the plant bottom side up and place 2 stakes on the inside of the bucket and bury the rim a little bit.

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Re: hardening tomatoes

Post  laufenberga on 5/2/2012, 7:25 pm

The basement that I had them growing indoors avg temp was probably around 60 F, gave or take a little warmer at times. The forecasted temps in the next 10 days are highs in the upper 60s and lows in the mid to low 50's.
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Re: hardening tomatoes

Post  floyd1440 on 5/2/2012, 8:18 pm

Being in 6A I am going to plant my tomatoes this weekend as well. Looking like Sunday or Monday at the latest. I have mine in the garage two weeks so I should be good to go.

Will keep my fingers crossed..........
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Re: hardening tomatoes

Post  martha on 5/2/2012, 9:25 pm

Do be careful. You may not get frost, but if the temperatures are chilly, they won't die, but they won't thrive.

It's too late for this approach for this year, but what I do with my tomato seedlings is put them out for several hours on warm days from the time they first sprout. They are used to wind that way, and when it is time to transplant them, they are ready to go, straight into the ground.
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Re: hardening tomatoes

Post  quiltbea on 5/2/2012, 10:19 pm

Harden them off a few hours the first day, more the 2nd, more the next. Start in the shade the first day, a little sun the 2nd and increase accordingly. By the weekend you could transplant them.

When I transplant after only a week of hardening off, I always cover them with some cheescloth over wire hangers so they don't get scorched from the sunlight. It also protects if its a little windy. A few days of this and they should be fine.

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