Acclimating Your Plants before planting them in your garden
WeeBee Farms takes pride in selling you plants that are ready for planting today. However, during periods of extreme weather, we need to protect the plants in the greenhouse and they may need re-acclimated to the outdoors. Or you may have kept your plants indoors or in the shade for a few days and will need to harden them off yourself before planting.
Cold weather plants (lettuce, kale, broccoli, chard, peas, etc)
Acclimating your plants to the outdoors is extremely important to their survival. Because plants usually are grown in greenhouses, they've been pampered. They need to be introduced slowly to the elements of wind and intense sun. The cold temperatures don't bother the plants as much as wind and sun.
Initially, you will put plants outdoors only for short periods of time, perhaps for an hour. (If you see it wilting, put it back in the shade for a while). You'll want to set them in a semi-shaded area of the yard. Gradually, you will increase the time plants are kept outdoors; you also will gradually increase their exposure to sun. After 6 to 8 days, these plants will be ready for the outdoor life.
Do not cut back on watering. Plants that are in small pots dry out very quickly and need to be kept moist. Plants are also more susceptible to heat and cold in their small pots. Once in the ground, the soil will moderate the temperatures.
It's a good idea to transplant on a cloudy day or in the evening, when the plants won't get full exposure to the hot sun on their first day in the ground. Water the plants and planting hole deeply.
Hot Weather Plants (Basil, Tomatoes, Peppers, Cucumbers, Squash, Beans)
We don't plant our tomatoes or basil out until May 31st, Peppers a week or two later. They will die at 32 degrees, and they do NOT like cold ground temperatures, especially peppers. We have been successful at growing tomatoes and peppers for 16 years. We are in Boulder County 10 miles north of Boulder. Boulderites may be able to get away with planting a week or so earlier.
(partly adapted from the CSU extension information)