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  • Hardening in rain & overcast?

    Ciao friends,
    I am trying to harden about 12 baby trees planted in 1 gallon pots. I put them outside behind a large bush in front of my house last week. There has been some sunlight but not much because it has been overcast and raining since last week. Will a tree get used to being outside with sunlight even though it's not getting much direct sunlight? Or am I going to have to play the keep a close eye on it once the sun comes out game. Also again is behind bush and has only been drizzling with spots of thunderstorm downpour..should I be worried of them being overwatered? It's not in place where is getting soaked but there is rain and humid .
    Grazie
    Zone 5 Chicago IL Wish list:
    1) Rest peacfully Amico Bello Buddy 👼🏼.
    2) This weeks ebay auctions.

  • #2
    Many things. First, never underestimate the power of U.V. Ever been outside all day when its cloudy and end up with a nasty sunburn?...I certainly have. If its extra rainy, it might not get through the clouds very much, but overcast?...some is going to get through and help to harden off your plants. I still might keep them in part shade for a few days once its sunny again though.

    As for the rain...that's what I'd be more worried about. If you have a few leaves, the plant can dry itself out a little bit, but you're going to want to keep the rain off of it until it dries out a bit I would think. Other members with more experience might have better advice, but I've let my plants almost droop a little before watering them due to fear of drowning them, and they're doing great.

    Hope everything works out.
    -Brett
    Brett in Athens, GA zone 7b/8a

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    • #3
      Grazie

      Maybe I check the weight of the pots if they are heavy I will bring them in garage out of range until rain stops I guess or I make foil cover over pot top to prevent overwatering but leafs still expose
      Zone 5 Chicago IL Wish list:
      1) Rest peacfully Amico Bello Buddy 👼🏼.
      2) This weeks ebay auctions.

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      • #4
        I second what Brett says about UV and the rain. I have experience with growing African Violets and I am thinking fig starts like African Violets die more often from over watering than from being a little on the dry side (moist but not wet).

        My 1st time 19 rooted fig cuttings are doing well by watering them when they just start to wilt, that is when the leaves just start to feel soft and droop a little.
        Jerry, Canyon Lake TX 8b

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        • #5
          Hardening off - anything - is something I've learned a lot about. Where the sun hits my property, when, how much, where wind affects plants most, rain, etc.

          At any rate, I have my rooted cuttings under the soffit in front of my house, specifically to avoid them getting washed out by a heavy rain. That location, however, gets morning shade, followed afternoon sun. Not ideal, but I also started gave them on morning sun in my backyard (not as intense), but again, under the soffit. Yesterday was hot. When I checked them, they seemed fine - a little burn on one or two plants. Today is cloudy with possible thunderstorms, so it'll be less intense.

          I'm equally concerned about wind. It gets very windy by me and that has a serious withering affect on young plants. I have to juggle all these spaces with my tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, etc, which is also another challenge. After 10 years in this house, I'm finally getting the hang of it

          Good luck!
          Arne - Northern NJ - Zone 6A

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          • #6
            This is a great thread, thanks for posting Taverna78. I have a spot on the east side of my house I use to harden of indoor grown plants. It gets morning sun until around 10 if they are against the house and additional time as I move then out away from the house. It has worked great for me for years, it is very protected from the wind, it's under an overhang so usually not to much rain.

            I started the my two original figs that were gifted to me there and they did great, I'm sure the survives of the rooting season this year will do great there as well.
            Scott - Colorado Springs, CO - Zone 4/5 (Depending on the year) - Elevation 6266ft

            “Though the problems of the world are increasingly complex, the solutions remain embarrassingly simple.” – Bill Mollison

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            • #7
              Just to put some weight in the other side of the scale. I love overcast days for helping harden plants to the sun. Yes there is still UV and IMO the biggest risk is rain, but I think it is a great opportunity to up the duration of exposure with decreased intensity. Personally, my plants have never taken damage on overcast days.
              Calvin, Wish list is to finish working on the new house, someday.
              Bored? Grab a rake, paint roller, or a cordless drill and come over!

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              • #8
                Grazie for reply... COGARDENER I only ask because I not known but you are welcome. I live for others knowledge ! Ok I post photo of how I have... They look belle!! But I can not be to excite because it can turn bad in a moment! They no too wet so maybe I leave next two day sun. No rain. But see behind bush gets light and under awning.
                You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 3 photos.
                Zone 5 Chicago IL Wish list:
                1) Rest peacfully Amico Bello Buddy 👼🏼.
                2) This weeks ebay auctions.

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                • #9
                  I also love the cloudy overcast days for hardening off. You can put them out and no worries. I started this a couple weeks ago and it worked great. The larger plants with lots of roots, no worries on rain.
                  The smaller ones like yours I would work to control the water yourself. If you can put them under an overhang to keep most of the rain off. Then you water when you think they need it.
                  Good luck. They look great so far.
                  Jeff in 6a

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                  • #10
                    They look great! I second what Brett said, beware of too much water! They look well protected from sun where they are, but I got a surprise sunburn on a few of mine this year. I did not realize where I had them got about an hour of direct sun in the late morning. Luckily they were only partially hit. :-)
                    Phil
                    Zone 7A - Newark, DE; Zone 8A - Wilmington, NC;

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                    • #11
                      Great! Thank you! They are under roof overhang so I hope tis is well enough coverage for rain. If I see is not I may make foil pot cover or move to side of house under balcony yet not too much light there. I wait to see
                      Zone 5 Chicago IL Wish list:
                      1) Rest peacfully Amico Bello Buddy 👼🏼.
                      2) This weeks ebay auctions.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by drphil69 View Post
                        They look great! I second what Brett said, beware of too much water! They look well protected from sun where they are, but I got a surprise sunburn on a few of mine this year. I did not realize where I had them got about an hour of direct sun in the late morning. Luckily they were only partially hit. :-)
                        Similar with mine - I have them under a patio roof huddled right next to the house, but the sun from about 6:30AM to 7:15AM hits them, and a few got sunburned. Out of about 25 cuttings in 1g pots, Champagne, LSU Tiger, Calderwood Unk (may be same as Tiger), Kathleen Black and Nero 600m were the ones that seemed susceptible to the sunburn, all the others seem OK, all seemed to get the same exposure.
                        Ed
                        SW PA zone 6a

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                        • #13
                          I may have to move them then because front of my house where bush is get full sun all day. But fig still behind bush
                          Zone 5 Chicago IL Wish list:
                          1) Rest peacfully Amico Bello Buddy 👼🏼.
                          2) This weeks ebay auctions.

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