FoodProduction101

How to harden off your seedlings

April 11, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog, Seed Starting

Wednesday 4-11-2012

What is hardening off?

Hardening off is the process of gradually getting your seedlings used to the outdoors before transplantation to reduce transplantation shock.

 

Broccoli and Cauliflower hardening off                            Pepper seedlings in greenhouse

 

Why bother?

If you don’t prepare your plants ahead of time for transplantation, the risk of death is higher, and even without death, the plant may be weaker and more likely to produce less.

 

How do you harden off your seedlings?

I do this over a 7 day time frame. The first day, I will set my plants outside for a few hours during the day. The next day I will set the plants out a few hours more than the first day. I will continue like this until the end of the 7 days they are out all day and night. Then they are ready to transplant. If you have a garden cart, this makes it easier to bring the plants in and out of the greenhouse efficiently. Some people also deprive their seedlings of water until they wilt, then they water them. I personally don’t do this, as my garden is irrigated.

 

Tomato seedlings in greenhouse                                  Eggplant seedlings in greenhouse

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