Plant Vegetables at the Morning or Evening?

To reap the rewards of a bountiful vegetable garden, you need healthy plants. The health of your vegetables in the harvest depends mainly on the first stages of their life cycle. Beyond healthy soil, correct moisture and adequate sunlight, the time of day in which you plant your seeds and seedlings can affect if and how your vegetable plants thrive.

Beginning With Seeds

Seeds need warm, moist soil in order to germinate. While you can plant seeds in morning or evening, your seeds will not germinate if the ground remains cool due to extreme nighttime lows or extended periods of cool and overcast days. But you can plant your seeds to a sunny day, a cloudy day or in the evening when you’re sure that warm and sunny days have been in the prediction.

Seedling Shock

Seedlings give you a jump start on the growing season, but take care not to rush things. Transplanting your seedlings from container to soil on a warm, sunny day or on a windy day can lead them to enter “transplant shock .” As moisture is dropped from wind and sunlight, the seedling’s development becomes stunted, and the plant might never fully recover. It’s far better to plant your seedlings on a cloudy day or in the late afternoon or evening when winds are calm to prevent transplant shock.

Stronger Transplants

Exposing your eyelids to sunny and windy conditions a little at a time prior to putting them at the ground is known as “hardening off .” Placing your seedlings out in a construction like a cold frame before transplanting them into soil allows seedlings time to develop stronger stems and roots in a semiprotected setting. Your transplants will acclimate into the garden quicker, even when planted on a sunny morning, after a hardening-off period, which should last two weeks before planting.

Water Wisely

Whether you’re beginning with seeds or transplanting seedlings, the time of day you plant determines the way you water your own vegetables. If you’re beginning with a bed of seeds, keep the soil evenly moist through the day. If you’re starting seeds at a bed with existing plants, an overhead watering process is fine for the morning; however, in the evening, water the soil, not the leaves, of the existing plants to prevent the progression of plant diseases. That is the case of watering seedlings, too. Be sure the leaves and stalks have adequate time to dry before the sun goes down, since the wet leaves and coolness of night are the perfect recipe for molds and viruses. If evening is the only time you’ll be able to water your seedlings, don’t use an overhead watering system; instead, water the base of the plants.

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