Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Gibby's Garden Diary Entry #4: Hardening Off Tomato Plants
May 22, 2013
Over the weekend, I went to my favorite local garden nursery and snapped up a bunch of tomato plants. Though I won’t be planting them for another week or so, I wanted to make sure I got the varieties I wanted this year. Last year, by the time I got around to buying my tomato plants, they were practically sold out of the varieties I wanted and I didn’t get any sauce tomatoes.
This year I plan on canning my own tomato sauce so I went a little overboard on the tomato plants. For sauce tomatoes I choose “Vita Italia” and “Roma.” I also picked up a couple of “Beefmaster” plants for slicing as well as a couple of cherry tomatoes for snacking.
The tomato plants I bought were still nestled in a nice, warm greenhouse so I need to harden them off a bit before planting them in the ground. I left them outdoors on Sunday for a good 4 hours after bringing them home and continue to do so while bringing them in at night.
I plan on leaving them outdoors during the day for 4 hours at a time for the rest of the week. Come the weekend I’ll start leaving them out for 6-8 hours depending on the weather. I keep them in a semi sunny spot and out of the wind. When I’m ready to plant, my tomatoes will be hardened off and not shocked by the outside temperatures.
The funny thing is, I don’t even like tomatoes unless they come in sauce or ketchup form, but the rest of my family loves them so I always make sure to plant plenty.
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