For the most part, the seedlings are ready to be transplanted to the garden but could use a few more days of hardening off.  Today, I put them out into full-sun for a few hours and will continue to do so, increasing the duration every day until the upcoming weekend.

Another reason to wait longer before setting the seedlings out is that the temperature still gets down into the 40s at night.  We haven’t had any more frost advisories or freeze warnings so there would not be much risk to transplanting now but it would not be very productive, either.  The growth of most of the plants would be stunted by the cool temperatures.

This is not to say that the seedlings are not anxious to get outdoors permanently.  Most of them are getting too big for their plastic pots and some have sent roots out through the drainage holes looking for water.  The crookneck squashes are particularly impatient to get into the garden.  A few of them have already started to form female flowers, which can be identified by the tiny proto-fruit at their bases.