Getting Seedlings Ready for Transplant

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I think it is finally safe to plant out my precious tomato and flower seedlings. They have been nice and cozy in this little greenhouse at night, but now it is time to get them ready for the garden.

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See all that condensation? I have loved having a little greenhouse this winter; I have started so many different vegetables and flowers. It has helped me keep them a little warmer than the outside air, and in Florida, a few degrees warmer is usually about all you need. Plant seedlings that you may purchase have likely been coddled too, so they also should be “hardened off” before planting.

“Hardening off” seedlings is simply the process of gradually acclimatizing plants to the outside temperatures and light.

I am planning to plant just about everything in my garden expansion except for peppers and eggplants on Saturday, so I am beginning the process in earnest now.

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First, I’ll leave them under the porch, but will unzip the greenhouse so they are exposed to the changes in temperature.

Then, I will take them out in the sun during the day and keep them out of the greenhouse unless it threatens to get really cold. I have babied and pampered these seedlings(remember the oven story?), so I’d hate to lose them now.

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Hopefully, we have seen the last of the cold weather and many of my seedlings can go into the ground on Saturday. Soil temperature today was above 60 degrees, so my green beans should germinate. I may plant half of the green beans this weekend and half next weekend, just to be safe.

My final garden tasks today consisted of harvesting lettuce, kale, Swiss chard, and green onions for a salad and snipping a bit of parsley for homemade croutons. The flowers are from my daikon radishes(see my daikon recipe here; they have begun to flower and were a beautiful edible addition to our fresh salad.

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Is all this tilling, composting, mulching, and planting worth it? Absolutely.

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