I enjoy starting seeds inside. I dred hardening them off. Last year I watched a bunch of videos and saw one that talked about outside in overcast weather for 3 days would do the job. I tried it, and on day 2 the sun burned away the clouds and did a lot of damage to my beautiful plants while I was at work. They also say sun in the morning and a shady spot in the afternoon, moving the plants a little farther from the shade. This spot is not always easy to find, and I have been wrong before.
You might be thinking just do it the traditional way. I work 5 days a week 8:30 - 5 so unless I take time off work this is impossible.
What if I build a frame, like an upsidedown table. The bottom keeps plants off the ground. The legs will hold layers of shade cloth. 1) just over the top. 2) 2" or 3" over the sides. 3) 8"/10". 4) all the way to the bottom. The seedlings go in and stay 24/7 if it's warm enough at night when I start, or in at night if it's going to be to cold. After a couple of days remove #4, two more days remove #3, 2 more days remove #2, two more days remove #1. Hardening off process complete.
In my mind it seems like a viable plan. I have scoured the internet looking for someone who has tried something like this and found nothing. Because it's rediculace and won't work? I don't know.
I'm going to give it a try. I will use pallet wood for the frame. The shade cloth will depend on cost. Ideally I would love to use real shade cloth that tells me how much sun protection it gives. This may be cost prohibitive. Worst case scenario would be using material I have, or can get cheep at the thrift shop. I like the thought of this because of cost, and I like to up cycle keeping stuff out of the land fill, but I don't know how much sun protection different material gives, so it's risky. The point is to harden off my beautiful seedlings without damaging them.
What do you think? Am I out of my mind? Have a suggestion to make it better? Can't wait to hear what you all think 🤔. Thanks