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GARBLEDEEGOOK Posts: 609
5/11/12 9:39 A

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Excellent!

Not crazy, it's our sweat that goes into these not to mention for some of us an integral part of our future meal.

MICHTOTMAN's Photo MICHTOTMAN Posts: 815
5/10/12 9:53 P

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The covering with garden cloth worked well for my non-hardened off broccoli and lettuce plants. I put tomato cages on their sides and staked them down, then covered the cages, weighting with garden stones. Only snafu happened at 10pm the night after I uncovered them for good - when we were hit with golf-ball sized hail! You can bet I ran out there (under cover) and did my best to save them... and I did. Crazy what we'll do, isn't it???

The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.

NELSON MANDELA


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ANCHEN2's Photo ANCHEN2 Posts: 69
5/10/12 12:04 A

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Thanks MARAUDE, cool tip.
And awesome quote. :)

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GARBLEDEEGOOK Posts: 609
5/9/12 11:22 P

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I thought I'd explain how one sets these containers for seeds. 2 per toilet paper tube. You can use paper towel tubes etc. as well.

Cut the toilet paper tube in half, then cut 4 1-inch slits approximately at 0, 90, 180 and 270 degrees (in the shape of a + sign) on the wall of the tube resulting in 4 equal flaps. Fold the first one over toward the center, then the second, third and fourth which you tuck under the first one as if you were closing a square boxes flaps without using tape.



SHARJOPAUL's Photo SHARJOPAUL Posts: 31,374
5/9/12 6:36 P

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Toilet paper rolls are also good for starting seed of plants that don't like their roots disturbed, like melons and pumpkins. Fill the tube with soil and plant thd seed at reccomened depth. Plant them outside soon after they get their first true leaves, which should be close to the normal time you would plant the seeds outside in your area. This lets you get a 3-4 week head start with these plants. Its a great way to have an early crop or extend the season for northern climates.

ANCHEN2's Photo ANCHEN2 Posts: 69
5/9/12 4:16 P

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Interesting idea, GARDENGIRL54. That would also keep cutworms from taking them off at the soil line...

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GARDENGIRL54's Photo GARDENGIRL54 Posts: 802
5/9/12 2:16 P

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I heard from someone that they save their toilet paper rolls and plant each little seedling inside one to help it get used to being outdoors. That way the wind won't knock them down and the tubes are biodegradable. By the time plants are tall enough to peek over the tube, they are strong enough to withstand outdoor conditions.

Gardengirl54

Healthy by choice, not by chance!


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SHARJOPAUL's Photo SHARJOPAUL Posts: 31,374
4/27/12 6:03 P

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Your row cover idea seems to be a good one. Put over the plants when you set them out and let them grow that way for the work week. Then the following week end open ( raise the sides) them up for a few hours, if they do fine that way then leave the sides up the following week, after that remove the row cover.

ROLANDD's Photo ROLANDD SparkPoints: (64,917)
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4/27/12 1:16 P

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For tomatoes my grandfather would dig the hole, fill it with water and let it soak into the ground. He then put them in the hole up to the bottom branches and finalized with a sprinkle of dry dirt around the plant to reflect the sun. He would then take large broad leaf weed leaf and stand it up over the plant to shade it until it got conditioned to the outdoors. It was a cheep and very effective way for a poor person to condition plants. I do the same, it works and when your done with them they are mulch for the garden.

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ANCHEN2's Photo ANCHEN2 Posts: 69
4/27/12 10:36 A

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I've never tried a "plant first, harden off later" approach, but I have the same challenges you do--weekdays can be so busy that one year I killed most of a tray of seedlings because I forgot about them. It was traumatic for us all! :)
I take an incremental approach. I'll set things out in a very sheltered spot at first (a porch or even a super-shady spot in the yard), eventually moving them to sunnier spots. That way they get used to wind, rain, and cooler nighttime temps without baking in the sun during the day.

Edited by: ANCHEN2 at: 4/27/2012 (10:37)
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MICHTOTMAN's Photo MICHTOTMAN Posts: 815
4/27/12 8:45 A

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It's difficult for me to set plants out "a few hours a day" to harden them off as I work full-time, pick up kids from school, etc. I'm only home "a few hours a day" (at least until school gets out) and it's usually right at sundown. And by then it's hectic around my house so I don't always remember to do it.

That said, I'm wondering if there is an easier way. Maybe plant them outside with row covers over them? Any thoughts?

The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.

NELSON MANDELA


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