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When are starts ready to go outside?

Discussion in 'Fruits & Vegetables' started by TwinCitiesPanda, May 22, 2019.

  1. May 22, 2019
    TwinCitiesPanda

    TwinCitiesPanda Attractive To Bees

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    Location:
    Zone 4- Twin Cities, MN
    I was really excited to get the garden soil for my beds this Friday, because I want to evict this mini garden in my office and make it functional again. I haven’t been able to harden my veggies off yet, but thought I could have them ready to be transplanted by Sunday. Now that I’m looking at them, I’m concerned they just aren’t big enough, nothing like the monsters at the nursery.

    Most of my tomatoes are 3-4” and have only 1 set of true leaves on them. A quick google search tells me they should be 6-10 inches to transplant ?!? They’ve been kind of stagnant in the growth department. I wonder if they need some heavy feeding or something. Currently they are on LED grow lights ~14 hours/day and watering every other day, with fans on them when lights are on. Once a week I water with diluted Jobe’s organic vegetable fertilizer pellets.

    My melon and Lima bean plants look hearty enough. Ground cherries are 4-8” and I could live with it if the smaller ones didn’t make it. All my poor peppers only have one set of leaves on them and are ~3” tall.

    So, how do you decide when they are ready to go outside? And any advice on bulking them up a bit?
     
  2. May 22, 2019
    ducks4you

    ducks4you Garden Master

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    Location:
    East Central IL, Was Zone 6, Now...maybe Zone 5
    There are two things that will kill your seedlings:
    1) wind
    2) sunscald
    Many people here use a small fan on their seedlings to harden the off to wind.
    If you could put a few of your seedlings at a time in a south facing wind WITH a fan, it will go a long way to protecting them from loss.
     

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