Garden And Gardener

Everything for the Gardener and their Garden

Hardening off plants

by Diane - April 26th, 2013.
Filed under: allotment.

If you take tender plants from the greenhouse and plant them out then you risk damaging the plants, stunting their growth or even killing them.

The process of preparing plants for being planted outside is called hardening off.

You must gradually introduce plants to the outdoors.
A greenhouse or cold frame provides shelter from cold temperature extremes, wind, rain, animals and pests, frost and snow.
The process of hardening off needs to be done slowly enough to not shock the plant when it is planted out finally.

Some steps can be:
putting plants outside during daylight and then moving them in at night, gradually extending the time outside. Use of cold frames without lids can allow exposure to some elements. Use of fleece when you plant things out, or windbreaks, can soften the impact of planting out.

Plants that are frost sensitive need to stay under cover until after frost risk has passed. Having sheltered corners of your garden can be useful for larger plants. Wrap them in fleece if it’s going to be cold.

If you need to plant out in a hurry then you must be prepared for plants to have a stop in their growth if they are not hardened off properly. It comes as a real shock to plants when they are exposed to the wind, rain and cold of outdoors.