Friday, May 31, 2013

Hardening Off Vegetable Plants

Image: Downtowngal
Whether you started your own vegetables from seed or bought them from the local nursery, your plants need a little hardening off before being transplanted into the garden. What exactly does hardening off mean and just how easy is it?

What Does Hardening Off Mean?

Hardening off vegetable plants simply prepares them for the outside elements including temperature, wind and rain. Chances are, your plants have been on a sunny windowsill or tucked in a temperature controlled greenhouse. Hardening them off prevents them from going into shock after being transplanted.

How to Harden Off Vegetable Plants

  • Find a semi-sunny location out of the wind and rain
  • Week 1 - Leave vegetable plants outdoors for 4 hours
  • Week 2 - Extend time outdoors to 6-8 hours
  • Remember to bring plants indoors at night especially if a frost or low temperatures are forecast 

Hardening off vegetable plants is easy and takes a matter of moving plants in and out of the house. To make things a little easier, place plants on a tray or wheeled cart to make carrying to and fro a simple task. As always, don’t forget to water vegetable plants to keep them growing healthy and strong.

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