OK, it’s almost time to get the chosen seedling into the ground outside.
But before I can do that I need to harden off the seedlings.
They’ve had a cushy time being downstairs with heat and light and aren’t used to the big bad outside world. To get them used to it, they need some day trips.
Hardening Off in General
Hardening off plants is something that happens with a lot of plants grown in a nursery situation. They will go from a greenhouse out into a shade house, and then maybe outside of that.
For me, I don’t have all that fancy houses made of different materials, so have to do it the low tech / low cost way.
Luckily it hasn’t been too cold lately, and I’ve got some good space up on the deck that is in the shade.
Putting them out there first, getting them used to the shade it the first step.
Increasing that time over a couple of days, and introducing some sunlight into the mix. This helps the plants get used to it. You wouldn’t put a baby straight out into the sunlight, and you wouldn’t do it to a pumpkin seedling. Words to live by.
Making sure they don’t dry out is a key step as well during this process. This could stress them out and when transplanting (which I’ll cover in the next blog post) it could cause a lot of stunted growth early on.
Front Runners for Seed Selection
When growing in a tiny patch or only wanting to have one giant pumpkin plant (what is wrong with people?) you need to make a decision and pick the best.
You want seedlings that show good growth, look healthy and are performing better than the other ones.
For me, it appears the unknown seeds are doing better than the rest of them. This is the front runner right now, the others will be back ups if needed.
Other Random Stuff
I’ve also got one growing in a peat pellet to see how it would go, and have a couple in the little growing cell seed greenhouse thing.
And here’s a photo from last night