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Hardening Off Peppers

The weather at the minute is very changeable to say the least. After a heat wave in March we had a very wet and cold Easter  and it seemed summer was never going to arrive. Chillies flourish in consistent growing conditions so such variable temperature of Spring pose a bit of a challenge to us growers.

I recently scorched a few of my seedlings after leaving them in the chilli house all day with not enough ventilation. While i don’t usually bemoan good weather it is a bit frustrating to lose some plants to an unexpected sunny day. My undoing again was not hardening off the seedlings.

We usually associate the process of ‘hardening off’ with getting used to the cooler conditions outside, particularly at night. As I found out here young seedlings are also sensitive to strong direct sunlight.

For us working folk, it’s not always possible but ideally you’d harden off young seedlings by giving them direct sunlight only in the late afternoon for a few days before gradually increasing the length by 1/2 an hour or so a day.

Personally at this time of year I have a daily debate with myself after checking the weather forecast. Plants indoors or out? Greenhouse windows/doors open or shut? Heater on or off? It seems I get caught out at least once every year. Last year I scorched a few seedlings just after germination.

2 comments… add one
  • Louis May 22, 2012, 9:47 pm

    I am finding this year with regards temps…you’re damed if you do and damned if you don’t…I have just kept all my superhots indoors, but the trusty ring of fire are thriving in teh greenhouse…

    • The Chilli King June 13, 2012, 2:24 pm

      Louis – Fully agree, the weather seems so changeable a\t the minute.

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