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Old May 16, 2017   #1
Join Date: May 2015
Location: wisconsin
Posts: 461
Default how cool?

ok i got a qiuck question, i just put my tomato plants and pepper plants, out side for a bit, after being in the basement, i don't plan on putting them back in the basement, just leave them in the garage, SO how cold can it get in the garage and not harm the plants? i see the forcast is gonig to be in the 80's today and then the 70's the rest of the week during the day, and a couple of nights down in the 40's, don't know how cold it got last night, but thermometer in garage read 58. ---thanks for any comments.----tom
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Old May 16, 2017   #2
Join Date: May 2015
Location: wisconsin
Posts: 461

here are a couple pics, you think they can stay right by the door all day as long as it doesn't get too windy? or dirrect sunlight? or only an hour or so then close the door?
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Old May 16, 2017   #3
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: 6a - NE Tennessee
Posts: 4,226

Don't start to worry until the temp gets into the 30's. Colder temps slow down growth, but no damage is done until frost (which is ice) forms. Anything in the 40's always allows me to sleep very soundly.
Owner & Operator Of
The Muddy Bucket Farm

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Old May 16, 2017   #4
oakley's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: NewYork 5a
Posts: 2,058

Fine right where they are all day. As long as they are in shade. Mine have been out for a few days
24/7. My larger ones have been out for two weeks. Bright shade. Some are getting some morning
sun. (planting those in ground this weekend).
My smaller seedlings just like yours, 3 full trays, are under a folding table in the shade,
close to the garage doors. I feel they are better protected during the day. We had high
winds yesterday...using the table to pot up another tray tonight so i need the surface.

Yes, high 40's 50's is no worry. I think it was 48 here this morning....
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Old May 16, 2017   #5
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Southern WI
Posts: 2,532

Agreed on the advice about 40s being fine. Mine often experience 40s in the cold frame where they live from later April until plant out time--usually May 10-15 for me. I have a polystyrene cover I built for my cold frame that I put on nights in the 30s and that keeps the temperature up (retains heat from the 10 or so 1/2 gallon milk jugs that spray painted black and filled with water).
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Old May 16, 2017   #6
brownrexx's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Southeastern PA
Posts: 1,046

I had mine totally hardened off and was not worried at all to have them outside with temperatures in the low 40's.

HOWEVER I would not expose them to those low temperatures until I had them hardened off and they were a bit stronger than delicate seedlings that had been living indoors under lights the day before.
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Old May 16, 2017   #7
GrowingCoastal's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Vancouver Island Canada BC
Posts: 859

I have noticed that putting them out into cooler temperatures, under lights in my garage, kept tomato seedlings from stretching or from growing too big too fast.
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Old May 16, 2017   #8
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Illinois, zone 6
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Being in 4" pots is better for cold tolerance than six-packs. I think it is the root zone temp getting too low that makes them sick. I would trust 4" pots down to about 40 degrees or so. Six-packs start to get sick for me when I let them get below about 50 at night. Microdwarfs and PL varieties get cold-sick for me the easiest.
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