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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Big Day. Hardening Off –day one

Well….the day has finally come for the hardening off of the greenhouse crop. I have been anxiously awaiting this day for months now.

Hardening off is the term gardeners use to describe the toughening up of the bedding and garden plants before planting them outside. It is when a gardener brings them outside to acclimatize them to the outdoor temps and the sunlight conditions.


I begin slowly. I will haul all of the plants outside…and almost immediately turn around and haul them all back inside so as to avoid a sunburn.

looks different empty doesn’t it?


Yes- plants can get sunburns. It will present itself as silver coloration on the leaves…and in extreme cases…burns. When it is going to be warm enough, I will leave them out overnight.


Each day I pull everything outside…and wait a bit longer each day to bring them back inside.


By the end of this week, I should look like a little old lady…exhausted, a few pounds lighter and crippled! (ha-ha)

Each year I ask myself…”why do I do this to myself every year”…the answer is ….because it’s worth it.

I will be outside doing it all again in the morning…it takes almost and hour to bring them all outside…and an hour and a half to bring them back in.

I have beds to till up…grass to fertilize and weeds to kill tomorrow…it’s a dirty week in Tootsie’s world…good thing my kid’s teachers know I love the garden…I showed up at school to pick Busy up with a petunia bloom stuck in my ponytail today!

¸.•´¸.•*¨) ¸.•*¨)
(¸.•´ (¸.•´ .•´ ¸¸.•¨¯`•.


Val said...

Wow, Tootsie!!! You have an amazing assortment and I'm sure it will reward you with bounty!!! Good work. What zone are you in in Alberta? Here in WI we are in 4 and with the crumby weather we are having now, I don't know how May 21 can really be the last frost date. Keep up the effort...can't wait to see the results and beauty you create!! V

Justine said...

Holy crap, that is total insanity, Toots. There's gotta be a better way to get them all outside. Maybe one of those flat hand trucks like they have at Home Depot and such?

I tell ya what, your yard is definitely a labor of love.

Justine :o )

Julie said...

I'm out here Tootsie...just not commenting as much due to time constraints! You are amazing in the garden world! WOW! Talk about've got it, for your flowers and yard! Sure wish I could do all of that. Gotta get out and hump it again, looking for a job, since leaving mine last November. I just planted 6 Bush Tomatoes and my eggplants and Black-eyed peas are bringing me lots of happiness!
Take care, and don't hurt yourself with all this heavy labor, girl!!!
xoxo- Julie

onlymehere said...

I've never heard this term before. You really should do this as a business bz you're so good at it! I now think some of my plants have had sunburn before! Thanks for the tip.

CiNdEe's GaRdEn said...

Yes you are the Queen of the garden!(-: What a beautiful bunch of plants(-: Lots of work but well worth it for sure(-:
We finallyyyyyy got rain yesterday and it was much needed. We live in a weird area that gets missed by the rain for some reason. It will be pouring all around us but we won't get a drop! Weird!!! So I was as excited as a kid at Christmas yesterday at work when the rain started coming down!!!! I am going to go out and fertilize the grass today first thing! I am thrilled to say the least!!!

cindy said...

Holy cow! That looks like alot of work! It been too cold here to get any plants outside...soon I hope!

Sandy aka Doris the Great said...

What a woman!!!

The JR said...

OMG....that's a lot of plants!

Larry said...

I guess I'm much to lazy to work that hard! My technique involves opening up both ends of the greenhouse and letting the wind wail through... since I only grow plants on one level in the greenhouse, getting used to the sun isn't a big concern. Larry

Becca's Dirt said...

That is an awful lot of plants to take in and out. How long before you plant them? Everything will be stunning Toots - even better than last year.

Betty said...

They sure do look so pretty! Question for you??? when you buy plants from a greenhouse, should you be doing some of the same? Unofficially I do that, before I plant them outside. Is that a good idea?

Darla said...

Heck yeah, it's so worth it! You have tons of containers and flats here. I'm excitied to see your arrangements this year!

Blondie's Journal said...

You definitely have your work cut out for you but it IS all worth it in the end. And I would rather work outdoors than in any time!! I can't wait to see everything planted. You truly are an inspiration!


Bonnie said...

That is simply unbelievable! You are amazing!

Maureen said...

Now that's dedication! everything looks fabulous! Great job Tootsie!

The Bama Gardener said...

Tootsie! I just became a follower! Don't know how I didn't become one before! You are on my blog roll and everything! Don't work too hard!!!

Anonymous said...

Gotta love a mom with petunias in her ponytail. You are cute as two buttons. Can't wait to see everything in the ground and thriving.

Lona said...

Oh your poor back girl! Just look at that sea of flowers covering your yard. You look like you are ready to have a flower sale or open your own nursery. I am so bummed out about our weather. Eighties one day frost and 50 the next.I hope this is the last of our cold spells. I ran out yesterday and planted two rose bushes and your sweetpeas before the rain. I got to get my Canada Day flowers growing LOL!

deb said...

You are such an inspiration!!

Elaine said...

Thanks for stopping by. I think I have my computer problems solved but it cost me some $$$
Your flowers and garden are soo ..gorgeous..
Watching them grow and bloom makes all the work worth while.

Mary | Deep South Dish said...

It still amazes me that you do all of this every year! So much work, but the beauty of it all pays off.

Susie's country cottage said...

Wow, what an amazing amount of plants you have grown. You would put any garden centre to shame! Good luck with the hardening off and hope you dont get any late frosts after you've planted them out.

artis1111 said...

May your day be as bright as the sun that shines upon the flowers you love! Happy Birthday

Bren Haas said...

OWNING YOUR own greenhouse is lots of work. You are doing a great job and I appreciate how you share your journey with us! Thank you for inspiring Glenda.

Corner Gardener Sue said...

Wow, look at all those plants out there! I knew you had a lot, but when they are separated like that they are easier to see. Do you start out opening the greenhouse to let air in?

Unknown said...

Wow your back must hurt after lifting all those plants . You really have some thing most people only dream about . No wonder every thing looks so pretty in the middle of summer .