hardening plants

I have 5 mature pepper plants that came out of last Summer's garden and were potted and have been under the grow light all winter long. They all have little baby peppers on them right now. I also have four or five seedlings that were started in November and are in small 1 quart pots currently. We have been slowly hardening these on my back deck for about an hour to hour and a half a day depending on the wind. The mature peppers don't seem to be bothered by the sun at all while it is obvious the younger plants are affected. Is it okay to put my mature plants out in the garden without hardening and then just hardened the smaller plants for 7 to 10 days before transplanting?
 
cmwr said:
I have 5 mature pepper plants that came out of last Summer's garden and were potted and have been under the grow light all winter long. They all have little baby peppers on them right now. I also have four or five seedlings that were started in November and are in small 1 quart pots currently. We have been slowly hardening these on my back deck for about an hour to hour and a half a day depending on the wind. The mature peppers don't seem to be bothered by the sun at all while it is obvious the younger plants are affected. Is it okay to put my mature plants out in the garden without hardening and then just hardened the smaller plants for 7 to 10 days before transplanting?
 
While I agree with Sirex about the mature plants I have a different thought on the newbees. Slowly increasing the time span in the sun & wind will be beneficial if added slowly... Just be careful
-a couple hours a day of shadowed morning sun for a week-
-Then 4 hours the next week
-Then 6
-Then up the anty to 2 hours of unfiltered morning sun
-Then 4
-Then 6
And inter-spaced cloudy/rainy days in above a plus
 
The_NorthEast_ChileMan said:
 
While I agree with Sirex about the mature plants I have a different thought on the newbees. Slowly increasing the time span in the sun & wind will be beneficial if added slowly... Just be careful
-a couple hours a day of shadowed morning sun for a week-
-Then 4 hours the next week
-Then 6
-Then up the anty to 2 hours of unfiltered morning sun
-Then 4
-Then 6
And inter-spaced cloudy/rainy days in above a plus
A local pepper person suggested shade cloth and just planting. Would that be easier than the hardening process?
 
sirex said:
That would be easier, yes.

NEChileman has the right idea. I just don't have the patience for that.
Yeah I don't have the time or patience either LOL. Right now my wife's not working and I'm not going to ask her to drag every plant out everyday and back in. So I think I will be investing in some shade cloth.
 
cmwr said:
A local pepper person suggested shade cloth and just planting. Would that be easier than the hardening process?
sirex said:
That would be easier, yes.

NEChileman has the right idea. I just don't have the patience for that.
cmwr said:
Yeah I don't have the time or patience either LOL. Right now my wife's not working and I'm not going to ask her to drag every plant out everyday and back in. So I think I will be investing in some shade cloth.
 
Make sure you update us as to shade cloth % - setup - methodology - etc. Maybe I'll learn something!
_
 
The_NorthEast_ChileMan said:
 
Make sure you update us as to shade cloth % - setup - methodology - etc. Maybe I'll learn something!
_
Well I'm going to try something. I can't find any shade cloth locally and with the current crisis in the country I can't seem to get anything shipped in a reasonable time. so by the time I received something through the mail I might as well just go ahead and harden My peppers. So one greenhouse suggested trying window screen from the hardware store. I think I'm going to buy some of that and get the darkest variety they have and that surely will filter out enough sunlight.
 
I use mesh peanut bags. They are huge bags. 3 tied together makes a great small sun shade. Burlap works ok also. Depends how tight the weave. Cheap burlap is usually pretty loosely woven. Last year my babies loved this setup. Just left them outside all day under it for about a week. Only brought them in at night or when heavy rains came.
 
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I wonder if hardening off has something to do with what type of light is used. I just put out my seedlings yesterday. Cloudy all day with the occasional peak through. They got 8 hours at least with no trouble. These were started from seed Mid February using an HLG 100 3000K LED. Sorry didn't take a picture. but they look great had to make sure they had water. What I learned From Dr. Bruce Bugsbee is that if you increase the light input, i.e. take them outside, they're going to transpire more. It's a balance of parameters. I was giving them water throughout the day! 
 
cneal said:
I wonder if hardening off has something to do with what type of light is used. I just put out my seedlings yesterday. Cloudy all day with the occasional peak through. They got 8 hours at least with no trouble. These were started from seed Mid February using an HLG 100 3000K LED. Sorry didn't take a picture. but they look great had to make sure they had water. What I learned From Dr. Bruce Bugsbee is that if you increase the light input, i.e. take them outside, they're going to transpire more. It's a balance of parameters. I was giving them water throughout the day! 
Well my young plants started to turn white on some of the leaves and they started to wilt on the leaves. so I put a sheet over the screen during the hottest part of the day. I leave them exposed till about 10 a.m. on a sunny day then I cover them and then take the sheet off in the late afternoon around 5. On cloudy days I just leave the sheet off entirely. I'm hoping that the current damage to the leaves isn't going to prove fatal. Not every leaf is white but they all have spots of white except for one of my bigger seedlings that was started a little earlier than the rest. At first I thought it was fungus but I'm 99% sure that it's sunburned now. so hopefully after a couple weeks of playing with this sheet I can take it off and take the screen off completely and let them start growing.
 
Mine did fine the other day when it got over 85F until later in the day. I didnt have my redneck shade cloths up yet. Several got some sunburn. Nothing horrible but it did bum me out. I got all my shades up now and they had a cloudy day yesterday too. Oddly the chinense do worse for me than annuum but i still got some burn on the Numex. Death Spiral got zero sitting right next to plants that did. So its just a roll of the dice which ones will burn more easily.
 
Love these peanut bags though. They are large enough and cheap enough you can cover a 7gal pot per bag in emergencies such as hail. All you need is anything that can support the bag like a tomato cage or just a couple stakes with some string.
 
Watering does not help all that much. Certain nutrients help a little when plants are stressed. Just dont let them dry out too badly and add some kelp or alfalfa based nutrients. All my pots got a good shot of Happy Frog and alfalfa meal.
 
I harden off in 2-3 days, no longer than that - done it for over 20 years the same way. What I do is wait for the first cloudy weekend in the forecast then put them outside in a place where they will get direct sunlight if the sun does happen to shine. And they stay outside unless the temp unexpectedly drops down too low, then I bring them in for the night and back out in the morning.
 
Also, don't harden off in small containers or cups - if the sun shines and you are somewhere else, you're screwed. Plant them in at least a 3 gallon container and ensure they are well watered.
 
podz said:
I harden off in 2-3 days, no longer than that - done it for over 20 years the same way. What I do is wait for the first cloudy weekend in the forecast then put them outside in a place where they will get direct sunlight if the sun does happen to shine. And they stay outside unless the temp unexpectedly drops down too low, then I bring them in for the night and back out in the morning.
 
Also, don't harden off in small containers or cups - if the sun shines and you are somewhere else, you're screwed. Plant them in at least a 3 gallon container and ensure they are well watered.
Well then it sounds like the process I've been going through is about the same as yours inadvertently. I've been shading mine but for the last couple days we've had cloudy weather and they have been out there uncovered. the sun comes out a little bit then it goes behind the clouds and so on and so forth. Makes me wonder if in the next day or so if I can just remove that screen and let them go
 
cneal said:
I wonder if hardening off has something to do with what type of light is used. I just put out my seedlings yesterday. Cloudy all day with the occasional peak through. They got 8 hours at least with no trouble. These were started from seed Mid February using an HLG 100 3000K LED. Sorry didn't take a picture. but they look great had to make sure they had water. What I learned From Dr. Bruce Bugsbee is that if you increase the light input, i.e. take them outside, they're going to transpire more. It's a balance of parameters. I was giving them water throughout the day! 
 
It has everything to do with what type of light is used, but the lights you and I currently have won't have any impact. In order to harden for sunlight while being indoors, you'd need 280-320nm UV grow lamps supplementing your HLG.
 
https://www.fdpwholesale.co.uk/product/flower-power-uvr8-lamp-280-320nm/
 
Disregard my post about waiting for a cloudy weekend - my chilis growth exploded overnight and there is no more room in the sauna for them. My HLG 260w RSPEC lamp (first time using it) works too well. Plants are outside on the back deck now under the teak dining table LOL :-)
 
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