The Q&A Archives: Seed Starting

Question: I just started bush bean, zucchini and mini pumkin seeds in peat pots. Can I just plant them in the ground after they sprout, or do any of them need to be cold-hardened?

Answer: Your veggies will be mature enough to plant outdoors in 4-6 weeks. They should be hardened off before being planted in the garden, to help them make the transition from a warm environment to the great outdoors where nighttime temperatures can be cold. Just put the seedlings outside for a few hours each day, in a protected spot, exposing them to more and more time in the elements for about a week. If the weather is warm, let them camp out over night for a couple of nights before you plant them in their new homes in the garden. Your efforts will result in less transplant shock and much healthier seedlings, ready to grow and produce for you.

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