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jhouse May 21, 2019 11:46 AM

Can you repot and harden off at the same time?
We seem to having a difficult spring in Ohio -- windy days, temperature changes -- I am midway through hardening off, but last night was about 44 degrees and today will top out at 65. I put the plants out this morning when it was in the 50's and rethought it and brought them back in. It's almost noon and still 56 degrees.

I do have some leaves curling and looking unhappy, had them out for a lot of the day yesterday but it was very breezy. I did try to shelter them some, so maybe a bit too much sun or wind or temps. Yesterday's high was 70.

Next week is a week of thunderstorms, the folks I will giving plants to may or may not be able to shelter them, so I'm thinking about repotting some if they are getting rootbound -- but, can I continue to harden off if I do repot them?

Thanks and sorry for so many questions this year -- hopefully it will help other newbies!

Jan H.

* I almost removed this post thinking it was a foolish question -- if you're hardening off the plants, you will be transplanting -- but, I'll leave it here. If conditions during hardening off interrupt the process or planting in garden has to be delayed. . .perhaps repotting and continuing the hardening off process as possible, isn't such a bad question. . .

ContainerTed May 21, 2019 01:16 PM

This is just my way of doing things.

I always assume that the plant is at least a little bit stressed when we re-pot them. That stress can last a week or sometime less depending on how disturbed the roots are. I have three trays of re-pots that moved from a 72 cell flat to 9 ounce plastic cups. I also have them outside right now getting their first dose of direct sun. I feel safe doing this because I moved the entire plug from the 72 cells and put that into the cup and packed mix around it. The roots were not disturbed in this transfer operation.

So, my experience is that the more the roots are disturbed, the more time the plant needs before adding any additional stress. Just have your friends put the plants into the shade for a day or two. Even putting them on the shady side of the house for a couple days can help.

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