How to Harden Off Seedlings

Views: 15284 | Last Update: 2009-03-27
How to Harden Off Seedlings - Provided by eHow
Hardening off seedlings is a method that is used to get seedlings to survive outside, and it involves simply making a plant more acclimated to cold weather. Gradually introduce seedlings into colder and colder environments with help from a sustainable... View Video Transcript

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Yolanda Vanveen

Video Transcript

Hi this is Yolanda Vanveen and in this segment we're going to talk about how to harden off seedlings. Now it's always wonderful to start seeds in the house or even in a greenhouse when it's early spring and it's still cold outside to get a jump start on the spring. And it's a great way to get tomatoes or any type of vegetables or even flowers to bloom earlier in the season by starting them off indoors. And so once you start them whether you put them right into seed trays or right into containers, now as soon as they start growing really well, you don't want to put them right from a warm house or a warm greenhouse right into the outside right away because it shocks them and a lot of times seedlings will go into shock and you'll actually lose them if you do it that way. So there's a way that you can get your seedlings to survive outside and it's called hardening off. And basically you're just making the plant more acclimated or used to the colder weather outside. And an easy way to do it is to take your seedlings from in the greenhouse or in the house and put them outside in the shade or in a protected area first, like a patio or a covered eave so that they don't have direct sun right away and they're still getting a little protection and heat from the house. And once you've done that for a week or so, you can bring them out into the sun a little more sun. And another trick too, if it's still getting cold at night, just leave them outside during the day but put them back inside at night because it's much colder at night then in the day. And by gradually putting them in the shade outside and then half sun, half shade outside, and then into the complete sun, your plants won't go into shock and they'll do really well. And you can do that with your tropical plants as well. So even if you have more tender plants inside and you want to get them acclimated to outside, do it gradually, just put them outside during the day at first and then into more and more sun and then that way by the time summer hits, they'll be ready to grow and ready to produce for you and you've hardened them off with very little care.