Organic Vegetable Garden (OVG), April 19th:
If you have been tenderly nurturing seedlings in your home for the past few weeks, you should begin thinking about “hardening off” your young plants. Hardening off is very important—if you do not do it your seedlings may not survive the transition from the cushy life inside your home to the real world of your garden. Hardening your seedlings is a gradual process that allows your plants to become accustomed to strong sunlight, cool nights, and less-frequent watering over a 7-10 day period.
- Place your plants outside in a sheltered location on a mild day. Leave outside for 2-3 hours. Do not leave the plants out in strong sun, wind, hard rain, or in cool temperatures.
- Gradually increase the hours each day that the plants spend outside
- Decrease watering (but don’t allow the plants to wilt).
- As you get ready to leave your plants out permanently, be sure to watch evening temperatures. Warm-season crops like eggplants and cucumbers will not survive a freeze.
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