Saturday, March 31, 2012

Starting Seeds: Hardening off plants

Time to toughen you up, for the real world.

I have potted up my seedlings. What else can I do before planting them in the garden? My little plants are still fragile. Growing in the protection my house with no wind, no heavy rain, no cold temps, and not baking under the full sun light. To prevent transplant shock and allow these plants to thrive I need to start transitioning them to the real world.

Why harden your plants?
Mainly to prevent the dreaded transplant shock. The effects of transplant shock include slow growth, reduce/prevent fruiting, product bad/rotten fruit, make the plant to susceptible to disease, or kill the plant.

When to harden your plants?
3-14 days before planting directly into soil. This is mainly advised when you have a environment outside then where the seeds are grown. This includes if the seeds where grown inside and it is still cold outside.

How to harden your plants?
Let the plants say out side in some shade/partial sunny area. Eventially you will slowly put the plants into areas of more and more direct sun light. Setting the plants outside to allow the plants to transition to a colder temperature. be cautions of weather under 50 degrees, heavy rains, or high winds. This is to protect seedling's stems from strain and the roots from shock.

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