Hardening Off Plants

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How to safely harden off your plants

Hardening off prepares the seedlings for transplanting. To secure the largest quantity, combined with the best quality, all Vegetable seedlings must be kept growing continuously from the time the seed germinates until maturity is attained, and consequently any check or shock to growth whilst transplanting must be carefully guarded against when removing the young plants from the Hot Bed, Cold Frame or Seed Box to the open ground.

Hardening off seedlings

Plants in the Hot Bed, Cold Frame, or Seed Boxes are supplied with moisture when necessary and protected from wind and cold. In the case of the Hot Bed or the Cold Frame, a week or so before transplanting increase the ventilation by opening the cover of the frame, just a little at first, and then gradually wider until the frame is left fully uncovered. Start with an hour in the middle of the day, increasing the time of exposure until the plants are quite accustomed to the atmospheric conditions out of doors, and decreasing watering so that the plant gets used to the drier conditions of the open garden or to be brief. Gradually acclimatise the plant to the local outdoor conditions under which it is to mature.

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