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Toughening up

Hardening off onions, cauliflower, broccoli

Today, it’s a warmish (57°F/14°C), overcast, gray day, with a light breeze. In the next week or so, the unheated greenhouse is to be relocated, set up, and outfitted to house hardier seedlings. All things considered, right now is a fine time to start this season’s hardening off… In early afternoon, we set outside trays of onion, cauliflower and broccoli, preparing them to head out from the cosy shelter of the seedling room to the real world. They’ll stay out till early evening, then it’s back in for a few more hours under the lights, and more of the same for the next few days. These first acts and sights of spring on a tiny farm never fail to excite (I think it’s the gambler in all of us)…



  1. Your seedlings look very content to be outside, as are ours at the moment, now the sunshine has returned after last week’s sloppy weather.  Now if we can figure out how the deer are breaking into our gardens, we could fix the problem, and finally get our seedlings transplanted!

  2. The plants are looking beautiful.  Wouldn’t it be nice if we people could be “hardened off” in our lives.  Or is that college?

  3. Do you always carry them back and forth for hardening off? I usually just cover them with a sheet or shade cloth once they are moved outside and remove it for an hour on day one, two hours on day two, three hours on day three, then I jump to six-eight hours on day four, and finally its off for good on day five.  It works for me. Have you ever tried anything like that?

  4. There is no lovelier sight!  I’m starting to harden off my tomatoes today…wish me luck! kim

  5. Urban Farmer Wannaby

    Can you share with us where you get your plug trays from?  (I’m in Ontario, Canada too)  The ones you can get at most local hardware / gardening stores seems kind of flimsy and probably won’t last more than a few years.  I’m looking for a sturdier varieties in all the usual sizes that would be used in  professional greenhouses like those in your photos.   Thanks in advance.  Love the blog!

  6. That’s incredible! I get so stirred up when I read blog posts like this. My husband and I hope to buy a home on some land so we can begin to cultivate an organic garden. I just love reading about other people’s experiences.
    Thanks so much for encouraging me, even if unintentionally. :)

  7. I just found your blog today–it’s  lovely and informative! I will be back again to read more. And those young plants are so beautiful–isn’t this time of year so exciting?

  8. Remote Gardener

    My tomatoes just pushed their way out a week ago. They just can’t grow fast enough. I moved the peat pots to the greenhouse yesterday which felt good but as usually happens there is a forecast for light snow this weekend. So, back in the house they go until next week. Most of what I plant I do in recycled two liter bottles but this year I am giving some outdoor soil a chance. I’m a bit of a lazy grower and hydroponics works well because all I have to do it top off the reservoirs each week. Outside will be getting a drip system. :)

  9. Kentucky Farm Girl

    OMG, what beeeeaaaaUUUUtiful plants!  Mine are looking so pathetic mostly because I keep putting off sticking them in the ground.  Sad, sad, sad.

  10. gardener

    Great site, I think we can all learn something from your idea.this is fantastic looking blog..and I love the way you write!

  11. Bill

    Hey this is a great blog. You have tons of content which is really cool. How long have you been working on this one? The plants looked great starting out, how are they doing now. I bet they are awesome.
    Bill M

  12. Vegetable garden

    Those plants are very very healthy. You did a good job taking care of them.

  13. katshe

    what a nice plants hope mine will be like that but it inspire me to strive hard for my plants to be like that.

  14. wonderful picture. Great array of plants.  I admire your passion in gardening. Thanks for the inspiring blog posts.

  15. Hey this is a great blog. You have tons of content which is really cool. How long have you been working on this one? The plants looked great starting out, how are they doing now. I bet they are awesome.

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