Spring Garden Tips
Hardening Off Transplants

Give garden transplants a helping hand as they move from the warm humid greenhouse or inside your home to the harsh outdoors.

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mgm_audio_172_harden_offThe transition to the outdoors can be hard on our garden transplants. You can make that transition easier and recovery quicker with a little extra effort on your part.

Start the process about one to two weeks prior to the recommended outdoor planting date. Move the transplants to a sheltered location near the warmth of your home, in the shade of a tree, or other protected spot.

Stop fertilizing and water as the soil starts to dry. Each day move the plants to a bit sunnier location. And don’t rush the process – or your plants will be sunburned.

Move the plants indoors or cover when temperatures drop. I like to cheat a bit. I use floating row covers to reduce my workload, while helping the plants transition to the outdoors. After two weeks your plants will be ready for their permanent location outdoors.

Just a bit more information: Save time and your back when moving transplants in and out of a frost-free shelter. Place flats of transplants in a child’s wagon, plastic sled or swimming pool. Simply pull or slide the plant-filled item into the garage or sheltered area when temperatures drop. And with a simple tug your transplants can be slid back outdoors into the warmth and sunshine the following day.

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