How to Harden Off Seeds
Hardening off seedlings is a process of gradually acclimating young plants to the outdoor environment before planting them in the garden. This process pertains to flowers, vegetables, and herbs that were started indoors. Here’s how you can harden off seedlings:
- Start by setting the seedlings outside in a protected area for a few hours a day, gradually increasing the amount of time each day. This will help the seedlings get used to changes in light, temperature, and wind.
- Water the seedlings regularly, but be sure not to over-water them. Seedlings are still quite delicate and susceptible to mold or rot if they are kept too wet.
- Gradually increase the amount of sun exposure for the seedlings over the course of several days. Start by placing them in a location with morning sun only and gradually move them to areas with more sun exposure as they acclimate.
- If you live in a particularly windy area, consider placing a windbreak around the seedlings to help protect them while they’re getting used to the outdoor environment.
- Keep a close eye on the weather, especially during the hardening off process. If there is a threat of frost or very hot temperatures, bring the seedlings back inside until conditions improve.
- After about a week of hardening off, your seedlings should be ready to be planted in your garden.
Remember to be patient and gradual in the hardening off process to give your seedlings the best chance to survive and thrive once they’re planted in your garden.