General Discussion:

cold frame question

Messages posted to thread:

Clare07-May-02 03:52 PM EST 6a   
Ed08-May-02 08:46 AM EST 5b   
Clare09-May-02 04:16 PM EST   

Subject: cold frame question
From: Clare
Zone: 6a
Date: 07-May-02 03:52 PM EST

I wonder if someone can answer a question for me about hardening plants off in a cold frame? I grow geraniums (pelargoniums really) from cuttings and I have a cold frame to harden them off. The nights here (Toronto area) are ranging from about 8 - 13 celsius but have been dropping to 3 and 4. Could I put them out in the cold frame now and leave them out? I figure they're quite small and could tolerate lower temperatures at night and higher temps during the day better than my more mature plants, which can wait a couple of weeks until the nighttime temps are more stable around 10 degrees. I would be prepared to cover the frame with blankets if it got a bit chilly or bring them in if the temps plunged - there's only 3 flats of young plants right now (in 2" pots) - there's about 4 or 5 flats of plants from cuttings I took in February that are in 4" pots. The older plants I worry may get leaf burn during the day. What to do, what to do? This weird spring we're having in Southern Ontario is throwing a monkey wrench into my plans (Mother Nature asserting her superiority!!!!!)

Any feedback you could give would be great.

Happy gardening!


Subject: RE: cold frame question
From: Ed
Zone: 5b
Date: 08-May-02 08:46 AM EST

Clare, I believe your rooted cuttings would now be perfectly safe in the coldframe, especially so with your blanket precaution. Open it gradually with increasing day temps. To limit/prevent leaf burn on the mature plants, expose them to a few hours only of morning / evening sun for 2-3 days, increasing exposure daily over 7 days, -- will take care of the problem, as will several days of intermittant sun/ clouds.

Subject: RE: cold frame question
From: Clare
Date: 09-May-02 04:16 PM EST

Thanks Ed! we've had a lot of cloudy and rainy days here in S.Ont. so I guess I'll get them out this weekend!

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