transplanting in cool weather


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I'm down here in Alabama and it's been a very cold April thus far, because of that I've been delaying transplanting the plants I started back in early March. Well they're getting way too big and I need to get them in the dirt but it's supposed to go down into the upper 30s this Sunday night, I would be planting them Sunday afternoon after hardening them off Thursday-Sunday. I have Tomatoes, peppers, cauliflower, and broccoli going in. I know they should all be able to survive upper 30s normally, but I'm a little concerned their first night out of 70 degree indoor temps might make them more susceptible to cool temperatures.

Thoughts?
 
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MaryMary

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Can you put it off another week? I would not be planting my tomatoes or peppers out if it was going to be in the 30s that night!! :eek: :eek: The cauliflower and broccoli might be okay, but I'm not even really sure about them.

If not, can you get some straw and pack it lightly around each plant? Afterwards it can be pulled down to the ground to use as mulch. :unsure:
 
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Broccoli and cauliflower will be fine with the anticipated temperatures. If you really, really need to get your tomatoes and peppers in the ground, cover them at night with a pot, gallon jug with the bottom cut out, or a newspaper tent (the tent doesn't work here in Texas because of our winds, but the jug and pot do work). If you have sunshine during the day, the ground will absorb warmth and slowly release it, so the temperature inside the pot, jug, or tent will be higher than the ambient temperatures.
I planted tomatoes and peppers today with daytime temps in the mid-50's, and nighttime temps predicted in the low 40's. I'll keep an eye on the thermometer and if it looks like it will get cooler, out come the pots (my husband really enjoys covering plants at 8 p.m. and in the wind :arghh:.
 
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Actually MaryMary, my husband is hoping I'll take up another interest, like knitting or watercolors--anything that doesn't involve covering plants in a cold wind!
 
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The soil temperature is VERY important. Cauliflower and brocolli will be OK. But if the soil temp is below 55 I would not plant tomatoes or peppers. Cold soil will stop the growth of both but it will stop peppers for a long time. Tomatoes will eventually catch up but sometimes, depending on the variety, will also stunt them. And going from 70 to 30's will cause SEVERE transplant shock, possibly fatal to the peppers. Can't you re-pot them into a larger pot and wait until it finally warms up? If you really want to protect your plants from cold air temps go get a cloth product called Nsulate. It will give you about 6 degrees of protection but you will have to weight it down so it doesn't blow away.
 
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I’ve literally done this several times. Cover the tomatoes if you have to put them out that early, but it might stunt or burn them. If you put peppers out with temps that low, it can stunt or permanently cripple them. I don’t put tomatoes out of it goes below 40’s now and peppers are in the 50+ club.
 
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I can keep the peppers in a bit longer, they're still a manageable size, the tomatoes though are getting way out of hand. Our lows have come up to 41 Monday, I may put the tomatoes in Tuesday. This is our forecast https://www.wunderground.com/forecast/us/al/pelham?cm_ven=localwx_10day.

IMG_7903[1].JPG IMG_7905[1].JPG

Not sure why these pictures aren't rotated properly, sorry, they're rotated in my phone.
 
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Depending on your last frost date you’re probably fine. Mines May 1st so anything before that is a dice roll. If it’s going below 40 cover them. Growth will be slow until nighttime is above 50 but as long as it doesn’t go sub 30 you shouldn’t kill them. For the tomatoes that is. Peppers I still wouldn’t put out until 2-4 weeks later.
 
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The cold has killed my tomatoes, but I just sowed some more seeds yesterday...that's incredible, since I'm still worrying about having cold temps in the morning/evening that can affect germination...I do live in Florida after all...:mad:

I'm going out on a limb and planting Okra today...crossing my fingers...
 

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