What is hardening in plants?
Hardening, or “hardening off,” is the process of allowing a plant to transition from a protected indoor or greenhouse environment to the harsh outdoor conditions of fluctuating spring temperatures, wind, and full sun exposure.
How hardening the plants is done?
Begin hardening off on a still, cloudy day when temperatures are fairly steady. Water plants before they go outside. Place them into your sheltered spot for just two hours on the first day. The next day, leave them out for two more hours, with perhaps an hour’s direct sunshine in the morning.
How long do you harden off plants?
In general, the process of hardening off will take about one week, and sometimes up to two weeks if the weather has an unexpected and dramatic drop in temperatures. If your region has frost, you should time your seed starting in spring so the seedlings can start to go outside after the last frost date.
What is leaf hardening?
Hardening off seedlings gradually exposes the tender plants to the wind, sun, and rain, toughening them up by thickening the cuticle on the leaves so they lose less water when exposed to the elements.
What happens if I don’t harden off plants?
If you don’t harden your plants, the tender plants will get burned by the sun, the shock of cold, or the wind. Some plants may recover from burn (even fully), but their growth will be set back a few weeks while they recover.
Can you use a fan to harden plants?
If you want to help your plants beef-up early, you can add a fan to the area where you are storing your seedlings. Use the fan to gently move the air. Too much direct breeze from a fan could dry out the seedlings and do the same damage wind would in the garden.
Can I transplant without hardening off?
3) Harden Off Your Seedlings: If you don’t harden off your indoor seedlings before planting them outside, they will suffer shock from the brutal sun. Without the opportunity to adjust first, they’ll get sunburn and might even die.
When should I start hardening my plants?
Heat loving plants like tomatoes, peppers, and basil, need particular care before transplanting, but hardening off is a sensible step to take with ALL seedlings. We recommend hardening off seedlings over the course of at least several days to one week.