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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

How to Avoid Sunscold on Your Indoor Peas and Other Plants: What is it?

 Sunscald and Acclimating Your Indoor Plants to the Sun

So I almost called this 'how to avoid pea burn' but if you have the sense of humor of a teenager like me, you just chuckled too much. However, sunburn or sunscald is a real issue that happens with EVERY plant you grow indoors. Plants have to be acclimated to the outdoors for both temperature and sun, slowly. I am always in a rush.

Plants grown indoors do not develop protection from the sun. I know it sounds odd but indoor plants don't have the 'toughness' they need to prevent a basic sunburn. Peas, in this case, and all plants started indoors have to be slowly transitioned to the outdoors over about a weeks time. This process varies based on the week's weather in your area.

Sunscald Stem Damage on Peas - The Rusted Garden Blog

There is no perfect formula but I recommend trying to make the first day a completely cloudy day. If you have 100% clouds, the plants can really stay out for 4-6 hours. A 2nd day of this would be great. It has to be full cloudiness.

Generally speaking I believe a plant can only take about 1 hour of full sun to start. I would only give it about 1 hour a day, for 3 days, of full sun. Full intense sun is what you have to keep an eye on. The pictures I show you are of damage from direct sun over several hours. I was a bit lazy and figured the cold temperature would mean something. It didn't. Sun is sun. I only paid attention to the morning forecast.

I recommend searching on-line for some methods of acclimating your plants to the outdoors. At lot of it is based on your week of weather so I am not going to give you a specific plan but as for the first few days (above).

I have set up a plastic barrier this year that is 'cloudy'. My flats will go in that. I just don't have the time to acclimate them properly as I have to go to work. The peas were out on a cloudy morning that cleared up to full sun. They were in containers. They are pretty damaged.

Damaged White Burned Leaves - The Rusted Garden Blog

The White Areas are Sunscald - The Rusted Garden Blog

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