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.