“Hardening Off” Before Planting Outdoors

Hardening off

Q: We normally buy seedlings to plant our veggies but were feeling adventurous this year and started them from seed indoors. I have read you should “harden off” the plants before you actually plant them to get them used to the outdoors. What do you say? 

A: “Hardening off” is an important step before you plant the seedlings. If you grew them under lights or in a window, they won’t be able to tolerate the intensity of the sunshine when you put them in your garden. Hardening off is pretty simple: when night temperatures are above 50 degrees just put them outdoors under a patio umbrella or under a small tree or in the shade of a wall where the sun doesn’t shine directly for a week. They will then be acclimated to outdoor conditions and you can put the seedlings in your garden.

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