It's already May 1st and finally a warmish 15℃. If you haven't hardened off your seedlings yet, now's a good time to start. Hardening off simply means plants that are started and raised indoors need to get used to the harsher elements outdoors before they are planted for good in the garden. If they are not hardened off before planting, sunlight, wind and the variable temperatures outdoors may kill delicate plants before they even get a chance.
To harden off seedlings, slowly acclimatize them by bringing them outside for increasing periods of time. This allows them to toughen up and eventually handle harsher outdoor environments. Start on a cloudy day for two hours , then increase their time outdoors over a period of a week or so introducing direct sun with caution. They should be able to handle sunlight without wilting or getting sunburnt leaves. My tomato seedlings were transplanted from their original small cell packets over two weeks ago and have been watered and fertilized regularly, so they have grown considerably since seeded in early April.
Today as I was eagerly bringing my tomato plants outside, I dropped them all over the kitchen floor. Accidents will happen, especially when you are dealing with many seedlings, which is why it's best for beginners to keep it simple and start with very few plants. Luckily, they didn't suffer too much damage. Also seeded in my basement are alyssum, calendula, poppies and cosmos and I'm trying to root a few cuttings of basil in water. These annuals are supposed to be easy to grow from seed and fairly quick to grow. We'll see if that's true in my next post.
In the meantime enjoy the comfortable spring weather and ponder nature at its finest as you stroll outdoors during this most promising season, about to unfold. It is quieter than ever out there, but this peace won't last forever. So take the time now to appreciate the calm, soothing sounds of ever present birdsong and delight in a fiery orange sunset. As you meander through your garden, pull a few weeds while they are young and easy to remove to stay ahead of this unending chore.