I'm sure you all know by now that here in the UK we have been experiencing a prolonged spell of cold wet weather, just at the time when gardeners need to be planting out their seedlings...
Well, I have been doing what all good gardeners are supposed to do - "hardening-off" my seedlings by gradually acclimatising them to outdoor conditions prior to planting them out. My Tomato plants were really in desperate need of more light than they could ever get when living on a windowsill.. They had already gone thin and spindly, and looked far too pale. So I have had them outside in the garden for a few days, protected by the ever-faithful mini-greenhouses. Until the last few days I had been bringing them indoors at night, but last weekend I potted them up into larger pots since they had outgrown the tiny 3" pots in which they had been living since germination, and I judged that it was no longer practical to bring them indoors. I therefore took a chance and left them outdoors overnight from Thursday night onwards. It looks as if this may have been a costly mistake, because many of them have gone droopy.
I hadn't expected this. I had hoped that the plastic greenhouses would provide sufficient protection for them to successfully survive the night-time temperatures of 5 or 6 degrees Celsius we have had. Evidently not. Many of them are floppy and shrivelled up! The next photo is of a "Ferline" plant, normally one of the biggest, strongest types, but the one seen here is looking very sorry for itself.
Will they survive? It could go either way. Fortunately some varieties are affected less than others. In the next photo there is an "Orkado" one at the left, still looking OK, but the "San Marzano" one at the right looks as if it may be finished.
Maybe my plans to have just the right number of Tomato seedlings this year rather than far too many like I normally do will be thrown into confusion? Not that I had exactly the right number: I actually had only twice as many as I needed, so hopefully there will be enough survivors to keep me happy! :-)
Meanwhile, here's a view of the Intensive Care Ward.... Will a couple of nights in the warmth put them back on their feet, so to speak???