Hardening for Spring

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Hardening for Spring

Postby wzbt03 » Mar 17, 2007 4:07 pm

I have been debating the best way to harden my bigger trays for moving outside to a greenhouse and have decided to give them all some "hardening" for a few hours each day and then move them out on about April 1st.
Some of these seedlings are getting a bit big.

These represent about 8 of my 20 trays. I potted the ones up on the bench for fun. They seem to like their new home.
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Hardening for Spring

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Postby eastwood2007 » Mar 17, 2007 4:23 pm

They are getting big! Looks like you have a lot of variety, too. How old are they?
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How Old?

Postby wzbt03 » Mar 17, 2007 4:44 pm

Quite a few were started in very late October and early November. There are a few that did not get going until late December but have grown like crazy.
I tried to divide my trays out so I could start some every month.
I believe I start 4 in October, 6 in November, 6 in December and 4 in January.
I started 114 different types of seeds and still have about 104 that made it with plants I would keep.
Some were great early and fizzled a bit but most began to show the most promise as they grew bigger.
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Postby thy » Mar 17, 2007 5:20 pm

Keep them shaded for the first week or so. They can burn out in sunlight- just as they can when they meet their first windy days
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Postby eastwood2007 » Mar 17, 2007 11:33 pm

Are those flower spikes I see in those photos?
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Postby malaprop » Mar 18, 2007 12:27 am

What is your light setup?


The ones I moved to a unheated green house one April, all took a 3-month nap of going dormant. Maybe the adustment didn't have enough hours of daylight , or the swithch from 24/7 under lights to 13/14 hours triggered the onset of dormancy. I haven't experimented enough with the lights to say for sure what caused them all to sleep. This year, I';ll just wait until May.
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Postby wzbt03 » Mar 18, 2007 4:08 am

Yes - flower scapes are coming up.
I have been pollinating those that flower and it looks like they took.
A bit of winter or almost spring fun is all. If these work out like others, they will not do much this spring but will rebound nicely in August.

The ones in the picture are in a sunroom where they can adjust under very controlled conditions. Once outside in the greenhouse, its anyones guess.

I only put them in the sunroom for about 3 hours and then it is back to 24/7 lights in the basement. Probably try this when possible till April. Nothing like winter gardening.
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Postby leafmould » Mar 19, 2007 12:31 pm

Nice work wz :P
Plants adapt to take advantage of different light levels to optimize photosynthesis.
A seedling grown in shade or under flourescent lighting will develope large molecular antennae to grab as much light as it can. This cannot be reversed, a leaf is stuck with the light conditions it grows under. A shade grown seedling will surely burn out if transfered to sun. The brighter light overwhelms the leaf and it frys :???:
Kinda like sitting in the dark and then watching the sun :eek:
Putting your seedlings in a sunny room for periods will let the new growth develope under the brighter 'Outside' conditions. If done for a long enough time, all the new growth will have more light tollerance. You will see the difference in the leaves and learn to reconize it 8-)
The time to put them out is when the new improved growth is greater than the shaded growth part or when enought of the plant has adapted to brighter light to keep it going outside...so, you are doing the right thing :bd:
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