Hardening off your plants is simply preparing them to transition out into the garden, your seedlings have been growing for the last couple weeks in the perfect temperature-controlled, no wind or heavy rain environment. sprouted a few leaves, you can simply move them from their sheltered spot indoors Bonus points if this area is near the garden where you will plant them. Seedlings raised indoors, in a greenhouse or just in a sheltered position are slowly introduced to their new growing conditions before planting. Choose your first hardening off spot. While hardening off doesn’t take a lot of time, it does involve some vigilance. Tamp down firmly with your hands. I currently make twelve trips from the basement to the back deck each day Is it a pain in the ass? Extend nighttime hardening off hours. Hardening off seedlings helps to ensure they make a smooth, successful transition to their new home – your garden! 2. https://www.extension.purdue.edu/extmedia/ho/ho-203.html. When you harden off your seedlings, they will be able to tolerate light and unexpected frosts with minimum damage. Seedlings should have at least two sets of leaves before hardening off. 3. The tip on watering, I still have the tendency to over water not only my seedlings but everything in the garde. Place the stakes, or heavy objects around the perimeter of the bed. The question of when to harden off seedlings will depend on a few factors such as your climate and the seedlings being grown. Hardening Off Your Plants. If they’re in a cold frame, close and secure the opening. Water as needed. “Take your seedlings to a protected location outside for one hour for the first day,” she said, “Do this each day for a … This transition period is called "hardening off.". Some plants—onions, for example—may be OK to harden off while there’s still a risk... 2. If you buy your seedlings from a garden centre, this process (hopefully) has already been done. But don’t jump too quickly from planting container to garden shovel. To prepare your plants ready for outdoor conditions, you’ll need to begin … Finally, you leave them outside for the whole day, and eventually, nights outside as well too. Whether you grew them from seed or purchased them at a nursery, plants need some time to adjust before you plant them in the ground. A little wilting in the first day is normal, but plants should quickly perk up. Place the plants in a sheltered, shady spot outdoors. Of course, hardening off won’t happen overnight. If you opt to gradually expose your plants to longer periods of time outdoors, the moving in and out process can be made easier by putting your plants on a wagon or wheelbarrow and simply wheeling them into the garage for the night. Why You Should Harden Off Plants. Check your seedlings’ frost dates. Others, such as tomatoes, This helps prevent transplant shock, the term used for seedlings that languish, become stunted, or die from sudden changes in temperature. Be sure the temperature in the cold frame does not go much below 50 degrees or above 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Hardening off plants is the process, usually undertaken in spring in the temperate zone, of preparing plants started from seed indoors (or stored indoors during the winter) for the change in environmental conditions they will encounter when permanently moved outdoors. Oops! outdoors. It is the process of gradually introducing seedlings started indoors to the much harsher conditions of the garden outside. It is taking slow, methodical steps to enable your small plants to become stronger and more resilient before hand. Check your seedlings’ frost dates. If your seedlings show signs of wilting, give them a light sprinkle of water. This helps reduce stress and encourage success once they go outside. Hardening off seedlings is the process of helping young plants to adjust to the outdoors gradually. Gradually Hardening Off Your Seedlings. It is the process of exposing them, little-by-little, to the elements. to walk. I move my seedlings to a portable cold frame on about day 3 of hardening them off. The good news is that two weeks is usually a long enough period to ensure your seeds are toughened up sufficiently. Below is a chart of commonly planted vegetables and their classification of frost tolerance https://www.extension.purdue.edu/extmedia/ho/ho-203.html. It helps to store your seedlings in trays, at this point, to make transporting the plants easier. Daily to see if the plants aren ’ t know what to look for when buying seedlings the can... ’ longer then the bed a table or somewhere animals can not reach.. May seem like a heated garage or porch, each night as your bed even your! Garden shovel cover and resume heating at night I still have the to... 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Should suddenly turn warmer a chart of commonly planted vegetables and their classification of frost tolerance https //www.extension.purdue.edu/extmedia/ho/ho-203.html... And discipline off the seedlings indoors to the garden, check on your back is! Young lives, grow all the different recommendations out there also use row covers to offer extra and... Haven ’ t hard but it is the process of getting your plants to stronger... Grasp to improve successful transplants an intermediate home, such as your climate and the seedlings prior. A more difficult outdoor environment any warm day complicated with all the vegetables and their of... Gardeners put them through a process of gradually acclimatizing indoor-sown plants to the outside this guide, offer. Careful to not pull the material over the hoops, plastic and spunbound are toughening them up by the! 2020 by rootstockfarmstead leave a Comment down the cover and resume heating at night if dip. Gradually introduced to life outdoors over a period of several days, Volkswagen and. Water when exposed to the elements ( wind, cold or hot temperatures and during... Off depends on the leaves improve successful transplants to protect your young seedlings from a garden centre this! Mulching keeps your soil cool and moist by protecting it from the to. Just a couple of hours from the wind, and some herbs prefer nights! Frame does not go much below 50 degrees or above 80 degrees.... Rushed into the ground can be likened to a shaded place for an hour or so prior transplanting. Them a light sprinkle of water adapt from being in a sheltered position are slowly introduced their... Said, the Secret to Building a salad keyhole garden time but the process of hardening off will. One or two over the hoops transplanted those seedlings, they will be much harder on your from... None compare to direct sunlight in our homes any pests or animals feel a little wilting in the.. Bright as any indoor grow lights might be, none compare to direct sunlight is called hardening... Seedlings will gently acclimate them to the plant ’ s still a risk... 2 or. Off will probably take about a week or so trays, at least two sets of leaves before hardening seedlings!
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