Garden Q+A Session Wed 6-7pm

21 May

This is our last session for watering demos and transplant advice!

Please sign up to water over the holiday weekend if you’re in town.  Demos will be provided Wednesday evening.

Kids can water and transplant flowers and herbs. Adults can learn about seedling care, watering duties, the new raised bed tops, and more. Thanks!  -Denise

Here are some common transplanting questions — and answers.

Are your tomatoes, peppers, and flowers ready to go into the ground?

Indoor seedlings might be big enough for transplant – but that doesn’t mean they are ready to go from your warm, windless apartment into the outside world. The recommended minimum temperature for tomatoes and peppers is consistently 65 degrees (including nighttime). Our region typically doesn’t get that warm until mid-May or early June.

What’s up with the irrigation system?  Do I have to use it?

The drip hoses in the automated system are activated by a timer, which means less manual use of the spray hose is needed.  But, there are more knobs and levers around the hose, so you have to be careful not to turn the main water source off or change the timer settings.

How does the spray hose work?  Which one of the taps connects to the spray hose?

Use only the ORANGE hose. You can set the spray nozzle to various setting to adjust the stream. (FLAT and MIST are good for dampening the pink cedar chips we use to helps keep animals away). To fill watering cans, try SOAKER.

Switch on the water source using the tap on the fence.  Turn the blue lever (attached to the pipe connected to the orange hose) toward Jay Street for ON; turn it towards Adams St for OFF. Alternatively, remember left is loose, right is tight.

When can I transplant my tomatoes?

The weather will probably not be warm enough to transplant tomatoes before May 15th. However, you can start hardening them off – gradually exposing them to outdoor conditions so they will be ready

How do I harden off tomatoes and peppers?

Here’s a description from GrowingGardens.org ‘s Guide to Hardening-off:

In order to give plants a chance to grow from seed to mature, fruit-bearing plant, gardeners need to start plants indoors during the cold late winter, and transplant them outside once the temperatures are warm enough to support proper plant growth.  “Hardening off” is the process of moving plants outdoors for a portion of the day to gradually introduce them to the direct sunlight, dry air, and cold nights. 

  1. Harden off gradually, so that seedlings become accustomed to strong sunlight, cool nights and less-frequent watering over a 7-10 day period.
  2. On a mild day, start with 2-3 hours of sun in a sheltered location.
  1. Protect seedlings from strong sun, wind, hard rain and cool temperatures.
  1. Increase exposure to sunlight a few additional hours at a time and gradually reduce frequency of watering, but do not allow seedlings to wilt. Avoid fertilizing.
  1. Keep an eye on the weather and listen to the low temperature prediction. If temperatures below the crop’s minimum are forecast, bring the plants indoors or close the cold frame and cover it with a blanket or other insulation.
  1. Gradually increase exposure to cold.
  1. After transplanting to the garden, use a weak fertilizer solution to get transplants growing again and to help avoid transplant shock.  Be sure to water plants after hardening them off.

 

 

 

 

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