“Hardening off” is a term that many gardeners have heard before.
What is it?
It’s the process of acclimating your seedlings from inside your home, to the outside world.
Unfortunately, if the proper steps aren’t followed, your seedlings may wilt, wither and struggle outside and your heart will break watching them.
I try to keep it simple when hardening off my seedlings.
Here’s how I do it and it’s always worked for me.
How to do it:
1. Approximately 2 weeks before planting out, take a look at the weather forecast. Is it sunny, or cloudy and dry? Is the wind calm? If you can answer yes to these questions, you are ready to harden off your seedlings.
2. For the first week, set your seedlings outside in a shady and protected spot. Leave them outside for few hours the first day, gradually increasing by a few hours everyday.
3. In the evenings, bring your seedlings inside and set them in the garage.
4. The wind will blow on them and make them hardy. This is a good thing.
5. After a week, move your seedlings into a sunny spot and leave them out all day.
6. After the second full day outside, they may be left out overnight. I keep mine on my entrance patio or deck.
7. A week later, the plants will be properly hardened off and may be planted in your garden.
Have you had trouble hardening off your seedlings? I hope this information helps make your gardening experience easier and more fun.