Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Hardening off

It's time to plant the tomato, pepper, and eggplant seedlings out into the garden. But first I need to harden them off by exposing them to the air and the sun little by little for a week. Here they are on Monday, enjoying fresh air.

The eggplants and peppers (on the bottom) are not growing as quickly as I'd like.

Ken's done some more tilling, which means it's also time for me to plant seeds directly into the garden. We're expecting some off-and-on rain during the week, so I'll have to time my planting accordingly. Here's what the seedlings looked like two weeks ago, in case you don't remember:

Seedlings on 5 May 2014. They've grown since then!


  1. when the veggies start coming in, what do you two DO with all of them? do you can/freeze/sell them? do you give them to neighbors? we wind up giving tomatoes away to co-workers and neighbors.

    1. anne marie, we eat them! Actually, with tomatoes we make a lot of sauce and freeze it for the winter and spring. I also freeze zucchini (slices and some grated). We can hot peppers (cayennes, jalapenos) and in certain years make cucumber pickles. Winter squash goes into the cellar and gets eaten through the fall and winter.

  2. They're looking good! The Frost Saints are past, so they can go out safely. My aubergines (eggplants) aren't growing so fast either. I got poor germination from the first sowing, so I sowed some more, then the rest of the first lot started coming up. Way behind the peppers planted at the same time. I can't bear to kill a seedling, so they are all potted and growing - slowly! P.

  3. I've never heard of "hardening off" (in that context at least). You must be singing to those plants. What a difference two weeks makes!

  4. Seems like everything is going as planned (ex. aubergines) even with that crazy weather you have had (ice just last week - right?) That mini greenhouse is really ideal - and you get so many seed starts in there, too!

    Mary in OR

  5. wow. i just learned something new. thanks!!!

  6. I sorely miss gardening; I had forgotten about 'hardening off' - I recall doing that!

  7. pauline, I know what you mean about discarding seedlings. I have to learn to be ruthless!

    mitch, if I had been singing to them, they would probably have gone back into their seed shells.

    mary, we love the mini greenhouses. They're a practical substitute for lack of a real one.

    mike, :)

    michael, I recall not doing it once, and my tomato plants keeled over. Lesson learned!

  8. I would like to plant tomato and eggplant. I have bought my seeds for tomatoes here in Lombardy, but I only have a little balcony and, worst, I will move at the end of June. Probably they will grow very well in Sicily in my garden.


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