Hardening Off my Tomato and Pepper Seedlings

It has taken a while but finally the pepper seedlings have come up.  Probably, I could have taken the tomatoes out about a week ago, but morning sickness had me doubled over and too tired to care much about seedlings.  If you look inside my fish tank greenhouse you’ll see a plethora of tomato plants and some new dark green pepper plants.  In blog hopping this morning I came across a post at Ken’s Trees about hardening off seedlings.  I wanted to share with you the schedule he came up with that I am going to follow for hardening off my little plants.

Day 1: 15 minutes in shade

Day 2: 30 minutes in shade

Day 3: 1 hour in shade

Day 4: 2 hours in shade

Day 5: 2 1/2 hours in shade, 1/2 hour in sun

Day 6: 3 hours in shade, 1 hour in sun

Day 7: 4 hours in shade, 2 hours in sun

Day 8: 5 hours in shade, 3 hours in sun

Day 9: 6 hours in shade, 4 hours in sun

Day 10: 6 hours in shade, 6 hours in sun

Day 11: 14 hours in sun location

Day 12: 16 hours in sun location

Since I live out in the country and there are some large trees and outbuildings on the property there are plenty of areas for both shade and sun.  To the north of our house where our back yard is it is very windy most days.  We do have a fence and a few little nooks for windbreak so the seedlings don’t get toppled.  Being inside the tank will also help prevent them from getting too windblown.  The days that will require sun exposure I will put the tank out on the east side of the house early in the morning.  This way the sun won’t be too hot and the temperature of the mornings is still fairly cool.  As the need for sun increases beyond a few hours I’ll have to move the tank to the front, or south, of the house and keep them well watered as they could dry out quickly in full sun.   Like Ken mentions in his post we don’t get full sun in any one spot in the yard for 14 to 16 hours (unless I want to drag the tank into the middle of the neighboring field) so I’d imagine by day 11 I’ll probably be getting ready to plant the little guys in the garden.

Lucero De La Tierra (1073 Posts)

I'm a mom of two beautiful little girls, stay-at-home mom and blogger. I write about things that affect the everyday life of a stay-at-home parent or any parent for that matter such as parenting, relationships, discipline, the media, product reviews, giveaways, social media, food, cooking, gardening and anything else that might come my way.


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