[NAFEX] properly hardened off plants

road's end farm organic101 at linkny.com
Sun Apr 6 20:57:24 EDT 2003

If they were sold as green tissue culture then I wouldn't expect them to 
be hardened. Sometimes nurseries are unclear as to whether they're 
selling hardened stock or not; I learned the hard way to check when 
ordering as to what exactly I was going to be shipped. I once got some 
green tissue culture raspberries, grown in a plug flat like vegetable 
transplants; I knew they would be green and tender but expected them to 
be shipped still in the flat. Instead they had been emptied out of the 
flat and all dumped together into a big plastic bag. The green new 
growth had tangled and it was almost impossible to get them out without 
damage, and to top it off the weather had turned unexpectedly cold, and 
I had no choice but to plant them as I couldn't hold them like that. A 
lot of them died, but though I called the nursery about it I didn't 
insist on a refund, as I hadn't thought to check just what I'd be 
You can pack dormant tissue culture raspberries like that and they're 
fine, as there's no tender new growth to tangle; and if weather isn't 
right when they show up just stick them in the refrigerator. Those are 
great. I don't know about kiwis.

Finger Lakes NY; zone 5 mostly

On Sunday, April 6, 2003, at 05:23 PM, Mike Levine wrote:

> How hardy are small kiwi plants?
> I recently mail ordered some small hardy kiwis in 2.5 inch pots.  When I
> received them they seemed very light green like they had been started 
> from
> cuttings in a greenhouse.  I heard we were going to have a really cold 
> night
> so I put the flat of them up against the house and under a large 
> overhang to
> give them some protection and hoped for the best.  This has worked in 
> the
> past for some of my more delicate plants.  Today my kiwis don't look so
> good.  It went down to 24 last night and they look wilted and black.  
> Was
> this my mistake?
> I used to manage a nursery and now own a small one and it has always my
> policy to sell stock that had been hardened off first.  I'd be 
> interested in
> your opinions.  Do you think these plants were properly hardened off?
> Should I request a free replacement?
> I'm wondering if these casualties are because of my foolishness or the
> nursery's lack of care to harden off their stock before selling it.  Any
> thoughts would be appreciated.
> Mike Levine
> Ann Arbor, MI
> Zone 5b

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