Garden Update | Hardening Off Cruciferous Vegetables

Hardening Off Cruciferous Vegetables
Spring is almost here! Or, judging by the fact that it was 80 degrees one day last week, maybe it’s already here? I don’t know! But either way, I’m really excited about getting all of my seedlings out into the garden soon. Even though the last frost date for my area is next month, crucifers (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, etc.) can stand up to a little bit of cold, so the time to transplant them is now.

Hardening off cruciferous vegetables is the first step in transplanting them. As I mentioned in last week’s post about spring seed starting, hardening off means getting plants adjusted from growing in a controlled, indoor environment to growing outside. If you have a porch, this is the perfect place for hardening off your transplants.

Hardening Off Crucifers on the Patio
We have a screened porch here, so on Sunday, I brought all of my crucifers out late morning, when it wasn’t too cool out and wasn’t too warm. When mid-afternoon rolled around, I brought them inside. On Monday, I brought them out an hour earlier and took them back in an hour later. I’m going to increase the amount of time I let the plants stay outside each day and then this Saturday, I’ll plant them in the garden.

Seed Starting Flats Under Grow Light
This week I also planted my peas, bok choy, edamame and te you (Chinese kale). I’m planning on doing snap peas and bok choy in containers on the porch, so I planted those seeds directly. I started my snowpeas and edamame inside, in peat pots. You’re not supposed to start peas indoors, but I’ve had bad luck with direct-sowing in my garden, so I’m taking that chance. The te you is in my flat, with most of my other seedlings. Everything has sprouted now except the San Marzano tomatoes.

Yellow Crocus
In non-vegetable news, the crocuses I planted in the front yard have been blooming for a week and a half. See? I was right, spring is here!

Have you planted anything outside yet?

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Kiersten Frase

About Kiersten

Kiersten is the founder and editor of Oh My Veggies. She loves cooking, trashy reality shows, and Hello Kitty. Kiersten also blogs about blogging at kierstenfrase.com.   Read more from Kiersten →

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Comments

  1. says

    I’ll have to live vicariously through you on this one too. Our last frost is mid-May so we’ve got a while. I can’t wait to get some herbs planted though. I miss having fresh on hand. (Though even when I do I take them for granted…sigh)

  2. says

    I cannot believe spring is just around the corner! It is suppose to be in the 50s on Saturday this week and I specifically remember last year it never getting out of the teens until April! I don’t know what is going on!!! But I miss the snow! No seedlings yet for me. I’m waiting until we get back to Boulder to start growing (or killing with my luck) the little guys. You should write a post about harvesting herbs…. I never know how to do it correctly so it grows back. :)

    • Kiersten Frase says

      When it’s in the 50s here, I get all, “Brr, it’s cold! When will it get warm again?” Ha!

      And I think it depends which herbs you’re harvesting, but with basil, I always cut the largest leaves. With something like parsley, I cut the outermost stems because those are the oldest. As long as you don’t take too much all at once, it should grow back, I think?

        • Kiersten Frase says

          Some herbs are always woody, like rosemary and thyme. And then with basil, I think it only gets woody when it flowers? The big thing with all herbs is to keep them from flowering–once they flower, the taste is off. Sorry, I’m like no help at all, am I? :)

    • Kiersten Frase says

      Thank you! We moved last year, so I finally have the space for a garden, but our soil is full of rocks and clay, so I do square foot gardening in raised beds. I still dream of having a whole backyard full of veggies someday. :)

  3. says

    I love screen porches for that very reason! Things have warmed up pretty well here, so most of my plants are back outside. I wish I was a better gardener though!

  4. says

    Not yet…travel has put me a bit behind, but I plan on getting out to my garden beds this week to get some peas, lettuce and spinach in the ground. I’ll probably be starting some peppers soon (indoors).

    Your seedlings look great!

    • Kiersten Frase says

      The seedlings are doing well, I just wish they’d hurry up and grow. It seems like when I start things from seed, they always grow so much slower than they should. The leeks that I started in January are still about the size of a blade of grass!

  5. says

    I love that first sign of crocuses! Daffodils and tulips are even better. I’m also jealous of your 80-degree weather and cruciferous crop.

    • Kiersten Frase says

      Ha! Our yard is full of weeds. And every weekend I intend to go out there, and every weekend it seems to be chilly when the rest of the week was warm. And I don’t know what’s happening with the perennials, but it’s not good!

  6. says

    Very exciting to see little seedlings! I am enjoying some of mine. I would love to be able to start hardening and planting the cabbage, but the seedlings are still too little and the garden bad is not prepared. The broccoli seeds were just sewed on Friday, so still a little time to go. I started the majority of seeds on February 12 and only finished sewing March 9. Eek! Wish I could have started all of them earlier, but nonetheless, I am glad to have started 2/3 early. I look forward to keeping up with your garden.

    • Kiersten Frase says

      2/3 early is better than nothing. :) Last year I didn’t get anything started until June (!) and I still managed to do okay. We bought a second raised bed today and I planted all the cruciferous veggies and I think on Thursday, I’m going to plant the (pathetic looking) onions & leeks that I’ve managed to grow.

  7. says

    I direct-sowed spinach, kale, radishes and some green peas. They’re all coming up like mad. I have zucchini and cucumbers and tomatoes I started inside. Have to research when to get them out there. I have too many seedlings, so some will go to friends.

    • Kiersten Frase says

      Yay, I’m glad your garden is doing so well! I can’t wait to see all the things you’re going to make with the veggies you grow! I transplanted all the cruciferous veggies this weekend and they’re not looking too good. :( I saw two cabbage moths flying around the garden this afternoon, so I wonder if that’s the issue. Sigh.

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