Growing outdoors for beginners. Your seedlings have grown into young plants or you bought (or were given) cuttings. Now, you want to plant them outside. But it’s still early in the year and temperatures can still drop below freezing at night. Besides, the days are not as long as you’d like them to be.
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From mid-April days will have gotten long enough to give plants around 14 hours of daylight outside. That’s enough to sustain the growth phase. As far as daylight goes, the conditions are now good to move your plants outside. But in April it can still freeze at night in Northern Europe. If this happens and you’ve already planted your plants, they will most likely freeze. In the best case that will cost them a lot of green material and a clear growth retardation. Most likely however, they’ll simply die.
If you want to prevent the danger of freezing nights, you’d better wait a few more weeks. From the middle of May, between the 11th and 14th of May in fact, are several days that are known are the Ice Saints in Central European cultures. These days are well known for sudden changes in temperature and transitions to milder weather. It is said that rain during the Ice Saints is a prediction of a rainy summer. In any case, the chance of temperatures dropping below freezing become almost zero after the Ice Saints. You can never quite rule it out completely, of course. In some years there have been freezing temperatures close to the ground in June. Still, once the Ice Saints are passed, you can move your plants outside with confidence. It’s time to go outdoors for real!