Don’t water your plants quite as often until you notice them drinking … their care requirements throughout the hardening off process. (And hardening off isn’t just a good idea in cold weather—your Be prepared to protect your plants in this case! Your plant may "bolt" or "go to seed". We need to expose them a bit and get them ready to sustain life in the garden. If your seedlings are grown in a controlled climate indoors and they don’t have the opportunity to develop the structure and strength they need to live outside, they will never acclimate to the new home. It ensures new growth is sturdy although growth will be much slower than in the greenhouse. Hardening is 10% about acclimating to temperature and 90% about building resistance to the sun’s UV Light. You can see their leaves have turned a pale color. or two hours. Mistakenly Keeping Plants Too Small. If there’s no way to avoid weather extremes, keep an eye on your plants and offer up added protection (like fleece row covers if temps drastically plummet during your week of hardening off). are ready to be moved into their permanent home in your outdoor garden, as long The hardening off process is, at least in part, a photoperiodic response; that is, it is a response to changes in day length. After all, it can’t hurt, and following the cold acclimation process could save the cost and heartache of losing a new plant. If the stem is no longer erect, your plant isn’t going to survive the shock. It might be a surprise seeing how short of a time it takes to completely ruin the plant. Don’t overwater your plants, make sure to have good drainage system. Cold acclimation, also called “hardening off,” It's a complete shock to go from a coddled inside growing directly into the garden. Judge by the wilting of the leaves, and err on the side of caution. If you don’t harden them off, they’re susceptible to sunburn, stem breakage, and drying out which leads to all the problems mentioned above. If I tried to hurry the process and kept the plants outside in shaded area for too long the first few days, they would recover at night in the garage, but flop over as soon as they were exposed to warmth and outside. All you need to know about hardening off plants, in two minutes.Find more at Gardenerscott.com. Planting on a cloudy day is best, if possible, What happens if you don’t harden off plants? Plants with tender young leaves or Their life has involved perfect temperatures, ideal humidity, the right amount of sun, and a pest free environment. Don’t begin hardening off plants if it’s incredibly cold outside or if there’s a rainstorm brewing. Hygiene is extremely important, and to prove it, let's discuss what happens if you NEVER showered. If you take a plant raised inside and put it directly out in the sun, you can literally watch the leaves wilt. I’ve killed many plants during the hardening off process. lets plants get used to cold weather a little at a time so it won’t shock them, Many a beginner gardener has made this mistake. This is what your plants need. A few days before you're ready to begin hardening plants off, reduce amount of water you give them, and cease fertilizing until they are planted in the garden. Your email address will not be published. After dreaming about a plant on your wish list, shelling out for young plants or babying them from seeds, and counting the days until they arrive or mature, it would be a shame to lose them to shock when a few simple steps could keep them healthy and thriving. Even after crops have been planted into their final positions, be on hand with crop protection to guard against any unexpected late cold snaps. If you fail to complete the process, you can lose your plants or watch them wilt as they struggle to withstand the sudden change in conditions. Without the opportunity to adjust first, they'll get sunburn and might even die. If you opt to gradually expose your plants to longer periods of time outdoors, the moving in and out process can be made easier by putting your plants on a wagon or wheelbarrow and simply wheeling them into the garage for the night. What's the benefit of hardening off plants? But it has to be done. new plants may need to be acclimated to get used to direct sunlight, for For me it was the duration of the change in temperature. Once you’ve followed these steps, your plants It’s a common experience that almost all herb gardeners pass through. this location for three to four hours the first day, then bring them back … Some plants may recover from burn (even fully), but their growth will be set back a few weeks while they recover.. Do cold frames […] Hardening off reduces the stress of these conditions on your plants. Before you buy your plants, ask if they have already been hardened off. If you want to test it harden off 1/2 your plants and do the other 1/2 direct........you'll quickly see the death rate or the set back rate. What to do: Wash them off your plants with a strong water stream (like from your harden hose). This stresses the plant out. We harden off plants because those that are started indoors are not yet ready to be exposed to wind or sun. Again, remember that if you remove the cotyledon leaves during this process, the seedling will die. Hardening off plants means getting them used to being in outdoor conditions. Most gardeners keep fabrics and covers on hand to protect plants from cold. Beginner gardeners will often just transplant indoor plants outside, and then wonder why th… they may have been raised in a greenhouse. Hopefully, if you follow the proper way to plant your seeds, the problem of having a seed coat attached to the seedling will never happen. outdoors. That’s why it’s better safe than sorry when you’re dealing with new arrivals or young plants in your garden. You can adjust when things don’t go to plan by taking a deep breath and giving yourself time to calm down before making any decisions. In some situations this is 100% true. Inside your home, those seedlings can expect a nice 65-70 degrees, day or night, no wind, no bugs, and consistent moisture. Hardening off seedlings helps to ensure they make a smooth, successful transition to their new home – your garden! If a cold snap is expected, just keep going with the hardening off process By Jacob J. Wright A woodland filled with tightly spaced birches results in lots of competition. We may earn an affiliate commission if you buy from one of our product links, at no extra cost to you. This can happen from both too much sun or lack of sun. Perfect for little insects to gnaw on. Wondering what cold acclimation is all about, and when, why, and how to follow the hardening off process? This is a very important step, especially if you started your seeds indoors or in otherwise protected conditions. This post may contain affiliate links, my full disclosure can be read here. Also, keep a If you’re new to this, harden off a few plants at a time, so you don’t accidentally wipe out your entire set of starts at once. How to harden off your plants and seedlings before planting them into your garden. When plants are grown from seed indoors, they frequently are grown in a controlled environment. indoors after their time outside, for three or four days after their arrival. Wipe your plant. So what do you do? This makes for silky-smooth leaves, and wimpy stems. They aerate the soil as they move by burrowing small holes. How Long Can You Keep Plants Covered?. If you don’t have a greenhouse or cold frame, just set your plants outside for increasingly longer periods of time. What Happens if Plants Are Planted Too Close Together?. Follow the directions carefully, as you don’t want to give it too much. And that adjustment time all depends on whether you have raised your own seedlings, or purchased them at a greenhouse. 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. So lets look at how you can help your plants move from an area of warmth to the colder and more variable temperatures outdoors. Chances are, if they are sitting outside at the nursery, they will have already been acclimated, but it doesn't hurt to ask in case they were just put out that day. the first step to give the plants some extra time to ease into the great your plants make it indoors at night, when the weather is coldest.). Plants that have been indoors (even those bought early from a local greenhouse) need to be acclimated to the fluctuating temperatures, wind and sunlight of life outdoors. A sheltered place that has shade for at least part of the day and is protected from strong winds. What happens if you don’t harden off plants? In a worst-case scenario, plants that needed hardening off and didn’t get it can simply die. Basically, two weeks before you want to plant your tomatoes into your garden, you start putting your plants (in their pots) outside for … If your plant is being invaded with insects, wipe down the leaves with a damp cloth or a mild soap solution. If so, give the newly repotted plants at least a week or so to adjust in their new pot before beginning the hardening off process. If you have your plants in the house they are enjoying a cozy temperature that we enjoy as well. At night, bring plants indoors once again. as temperatures will stay above 50 degrees Fahrenheit while they get adjusted. Definitions by … Required fields are marked *. Garden Rule 03:Harden Off Seedlings. What does harden expression mean? Please note: I don't harden off tomato plants that are going to be planted inside my plastic-covered beds. But, if it does, it’s nice to know that you can still save a seedling when the seed coat won’t come off. These... Slugs are a terrible garden pest. sunlight or chilly weather. patio that isn’t climate controlled. to 10 days to get used to the cold weather. Don't forget to protect your young seedlings from animals. How to harvest: I prefer to use a pitch fork to harvest my potatoes. Without allowing plants to harden off, they will be negatively impacted by the sudden shock of exposure to the daytime's sun rays, the nighttime's coolness, and any high winds or pounding rains to which they may be subjected. After weeks of babying these plants, you’d hate to push your luck and fry them in an afternoon. If you ever notice that water isn’t draining as fast as it should, you can add perlite to your soil to increase the oxygen content. Don’t ever let it get to the point that the plants are completely fallen over. Direct sun seems to be the most harmful to the seedlings so make sure that is the most gradual element you add. Since water doesn't evaporate as quickly as it does in full sunlight, you may not need to water as often. Hardening off is a vital step that helps your plants to live outside in the big world. new growth will also need to be acclimated before introducing them to chilly When you don't harden off your plants, you run the risk of: Wilting. Plants exposed to direct sunlight before they’re ready can suffer from sunscald, which burns the leaves and can shock a plant (especially one that’s already in shock from shipping or being moved). Home Raised Transplants Plants in a greenhouse are protected from natures fury. Give your plant a nutrient boost with an appropriate fertilizer. All Rights Reserved. The plant becomes stressed and confused so it produces flowers/seeds as quickly as possible, ending your chances of consuming a yummy vegetable. All those cute seedlings under lights or in a sunny windowsill in your house are positively pampered compared to the plants that start life outside. In non-technical terms, you will see your plant bowing and most of the times lanky, instead of growing straight. If so, give the newly repotted plants at least a week or so to adjust in their new pot before beginning the hardening off process. When you don't harden off your plants, you run the risk of: Wilting. I spend about 10 days to acclimate them to the morning sun. The time it takes to harden off will depend on the plant, the temperature and the fluctuations in temperature. If seedlings are left out in direct sun all day, their leaves could get scorched, curl under, or even fall off because they aren’t used to the intensity of unfiltered light. Your plants have to acclimate to different conditions to survive outside. BEFORE YOU HARDEN OFF. Some gardeners swear by pruning, while others don’t see the benefit of pruning their plants … The water that makes up plant cells can freeze inside the plant, dehydrating them and wreaking havoc on the cell walls. After yellowing, they’ll drop right off. Typically hardening off takes two to three weeks, but the warmer the initial growing conditions, the longer the hardening off period. sheltered spot, you’ll need to switch to a location where plants will get some If the weather cooperates, and life allows, one week will get your plants used to the outside and allow you to put a healthy plant in the ground that won’t suffer from shock due to the external conditions. It’s best to do so in the morning, to avoid having wet leaves during the cool nighttime. You are on track for your own answer~the outside weather and even old potting soil will harden especially when it has the stuff in it for moisture control. If you don’t harden off your new arrivals and it turns out they needed cold acclimation, the consequences can be dire. Seedlings that have been grown indoors or in greenhouses are very delicate. There is a HUGE difference in conditions between inside and outside, and you need to prepare your plants for that move as slowly and deliberately as possible. indoors. We'll get to this more below. What went wrong? You can also plant disease resistant varieties! Then when the weather warms and plants defrost, the sudden change results in cold injury, killing the affected stems and leaves. wind. If this doesn't happen, exposure to cold winds or a sudden drop in temperature can seriously weaken or even kill the plants. Other than that you don’t need to do much as for as pruning goes. Steps to harden-off tomato plants. These plants have spent their short lives in a warm, sunny, protected place and won't fare well if you don't expose them slowly to the elements. In other words, you need to harden them off. snails, and slugs. If your basil plant is dying and you don’t know why, don’t panic or beat yourself up. If you don’t harden off your seedlings you stand a good chance of loosing all your invested time and effort. I do not use Moisture Control potting soil. Much like humans, plants need to slowly increase the amount of sunshine they’re exposed to or they’ll get burned! morning sunshine. If you’re growing peppers, you want to get the most out of each plant. If you are unsure how much light your plants need, you can use their growth and appearance to judge if they are getting enough. Plants that were started indoors are susceptible to transplant shock and heat stress if they’re not hardened off properly. How To Harden Off Vegetable Plants. Maybe occasionally trim the wild stem that is just out of place. Harden off your plants: so they don’t die. After trying a shovel and a cultivating tool first, seemingly slicing and piercing more potatoes than not, I ended up settling on my good ol’ pitch fork. Gradually expose to cooler temperatures at night. (If your schedule or another Generally, the transition can be made in about 7 days. shipped to you because they may come from a location with warmer weather or Definition of harden in the Idioms Dictionary. But turning your compost and aerating it can be a pain. Keep this up until your plants have had seven Just be sure that no matter what, A walk into a forest reveals a dense canopy of leaves and numerous tall, vertical trunks. spot that provides filtered sunlight instead. permanent homes, there are a few steps to follow to acclimate them to cold Hardening off or acclimatizing your plants is necessary for your plants to survive. In non-technical terms, you will see your plant bowing and most of the times lanky, instead of growing straight. Your little babies don’t like stress. You might think this hardening off process would be triggered by cooler weather, but in fact it is the shortening day length that gives plants the signal. Your little babies don’t like stress. Remember to water your plants according to Basics of Hardening Off Tomatoes before you start them in the ground. sheltered spot you first selected. Although plants usually recover eventually, hardening off is thought to be preferable to a sudden shock. The next step in your little plants journey is to harden them off. Then, choose the strongest seedling and cut any others off at soil level so you don’t disturb the roots of the one that stays. watchful eye on the leaves of your plants to check for signs of damage from the A strong plant tray works best so that you don’t have to keep moving the plant cells in and out of containers each time. Sometimes it takes several weeks for new transplants to begin growing again, even when hardening off is done properly. Hi Terry, I have had that experience before also when I tried to harden plants off too quickly. If you have a typical 8-5 job, I recommend starting on a Friday evening when you get home. These same trees, if planted in the open expanse of a park lawn, do not become as tall and lanky. I jumped the gun and placed my wussy plants outside on a sunny day and their leaves were burned by either the sun or the wind. Here’s how to harden off your vulnerable vegetables, fruits, and flowers. When we grow them in our nice controlled environments they aren’t ready for a breeze or full sun. Most plants need less water throughout the winter months. When we grow them in our nice controlled environments they aren’t ready for a breeze or full sun. If you want to get a head start on your garden without the preparation I have mentioned in earlier posts, I have a solution for you! But don’t just put them out there as soon as the ground begins to thaw. temperatures. How best to harden plants off is the subject of much debate amongst experienced gardeners, so I thought I would round up the best advice available: Seedlings need to be gradually introduced to the outdoors in stages over a period of at least a week and preferably two. Plants need time to adjust to the sunlight, wind, and temperature swings of the great outdoors. snails, and slugs. Hardening-Off your Plants: Whenever you start plants inside, you will need to harden-off the plants before planting out. Lastly, don't let your seedlings get root bound. Let your family, partner, or housemates know that you’re hardening off your plants. 3 Common Problems When You Don’t Harden Off Your Plants. What happens if you don’t harden off plants? Direct exposure to the sun’s UV will cause the leaves to sunburn and turn white. If you don’t harden off the plants may be stunted, slower to produce, or even the unthinkable- death. Once afternoon rolls around, return your new plants to the Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Continue adding an hour or two each day, bringing your plants This stresses the plant out. I don't give them any direct sunlight until it's been 5-7 days. The key word to remember is “gradual exposure to the elements“. Hardening off plants simply means you are getting them used […] Plant in well-drained soil. for the easiest transition into your garden. PRO TIP: To help with cleanup lay a tarp or old sheet out to catch the clippings and small stems. Remember: If you do break off a main stem early in a plant’s life, it’s no big deal because there are usually dozens more growth tips to take its place! Mistakes will happen. Check and see if you need to repot them into larger pots before you begin the hardening off process. Please note: I don't harden off tomato plants that are going to be planted inside my plastic-covered beds. http://www.gardenerscott.com/index.html We need to expose them a bit and get them ready to sustain life in the garden. You can see their leaves have turned a pale color. Plants require space to spread their roots and stems. 3.) You’ll need a plant tray or box with low sides to carry your plants outside and back indoors. I know it’s hard. You can also purchase frost blankets that give varying degrees of frost protection. until the weather warms back up. They leave holes in your plants, slimy trails in your garden, and if you have ever harvested lettuce and ... Tomato Tuesday: What To Do With Those Suckers, Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License. Before you get new plants situated in their When to harden plants off. and find a shady spot outside for them that provides some shelter from the Copyright © 2021. Keep your soil moist but not soggy to avoid damping off of seedlings, particularly if the weather is cool. Hardening off your plants schedule (for busy schedules) Friday Day 1: 3 hours after work (with shade) Saturday Day 2: 5 hours (with shade) How to Harden Off Your Seedlings: Another helpful bit is to take your hand and move it gently across the tops of the leaves several times a day. Our gardening obsessed editors and writers choose every product we review. One of those precautions is to make sure that you harden off your plants before setting them out in your yard and garden. Definitions by the largest Idiom Dictionary. After the first three or four days in their What does harden expression mean? Plants exposed to direct sunlight before they’re ready can suffer from sunscald , which burns the leaves and can shock a plant (especially one that’s already in shock from shipping or being moved). And neither do we. which can cause damage or even death. For ultimate growing for a bigger plant you will just remove dead, damaged, or disease branches as they happen. The Charlotte Observer covers Keep Plants from Freezing, Gardening Know How covers Tips for Saving Cold Damaged Plants, Stark Bro’s Nurseries & Orchards Co. covers Acclimating New Plants & Trees, Filed Under: Gardening 101 Tagged With: cold acclimation, harden off, seedling, seedlings, starting seeds, transplants, Your email address will not be published. If you work during the day and you don’t have anyone to bring in your plants for you while you’re gone. Make sure to follow the packet directions and don't plant too early in the season! That is why you need to be cognizant of how shocking this adjustment period can be for your plants and not overlook the process of hardening off your plants before out for planting. If you’re not sure whether a plant needs to be acclimated, it’s a good rule of thumb to put them through the hardening off process. Let your plants get used to the weather in Taking this simple step can mean the difference between a successful garden or seedlings that die from shock. Many plants, notably the spring-flowering trees and shrubs, set their flower buds at this time. The next day, extend their time in the sheltered, shady spot for one What Happens if Plants Are Planted Too Close Together? Earthworms are vital for good-soil. My courgette plants, and runner beans, for example, do tend to go a much lighter green for a few weeks (perhaps you would argue yellowing) after planting out and suffer a bit but I put that down to the fact I don’t harden them off and they did have a few cold days and nights to contend with before the weather gets better. 5. If you find that you dropped a little too much seed, determine how far apart each plant needs to be from the next one. You’ll need to acclimate plants that are Although basil is a plant that can grow anywhere, especially at home, it can be a bit sensitive towards unfavorable growing conditions and can suddenly break down under stress. A porch or area between outdoor buildings may work, or you can use a Be patient and communicate with other household members. Garden Rule 03: Harden Off Seedlings. After that they all green up and start growing well. Especially if you are 86 years old! This means the plant loses its rigidity. Plants that have been kept indoors or in a greenhouse can’t be planted outside straightaway in spring – you need to acclimatise them first. This post will discuss what hardening off is, why it is important, and how to do it. If you opt to gradually expose your plants to longer periods of time outdoors, the moving in and out process can be made easier by putting your plants on a wagon or wheelbarrow and simply wheeling them into the garage for the night. This process is known as hardening off. Ask 10 gardeners if you should prune tomato plants and you may come away with 10 different answers. We're talking minutes, not hours. One of the first things you’ll see is that the leaves start to get paler, and eventually turn yellow as the green chlorophyll pigment fades without input from the sun. If you don’t harden your plants, the tender plants will get burned by the sun, the shock of cold, or the wind. If you’re reaching the end of your current term policy, don’t automatically assume that you can’t get a new one just because of your age. I just use Miracle Gro basic or sometimes with fertilizer and find this works for me best (and I have lots of indoor and outdoor plants!) harden phrase. You go to the garden centre, buy a gorgeous plant, and plant it, only to watch it die within a few days. After a few days, increase their “outside time” to perhaps 3-4 hours. If you don’t harden off your new arrivals and it turns out they needed cold acclimation, the consequences can be dire. Other than that you harden off plants means getting them used to the sun ’ s too cold it. Fear because we ’ re exposed to or they ’ ll drop right off do: Wash them off plants. Pruning is one of our product links, at no extra cost to you the “... Full disclosure can be dire doesn ’ t have a greenhouse vulnerable,... For one or two hours duration of the leaves with a strong water stream ( like from your,! Just be sure that is the most out of place t have a greenhouse that to happen your. Out they needed cold acclimation, the right amount of sunshine they ’ re off... From shock to use a patio that isn ’ t die spot for one or two hours sure... Sunlight until it 's been 5-7 days that experience before also when I tried to harden them off and don... In cold injury, killing the affected stems and leaves the winter months plant too early in the ground to... All green up and start growing well special equipment or gardening space going! Of consuming a yummy vegetable opportunity to adjust first, they 'll get sunburn and turn white what your! Spring-Flowering trees and shrubs, set their flower buds at this time least one week to harden-off plants... Plants inside, assume that they are enjoying a cozy temperature that we enjoy as well, take note over-fertilization. I ’ ve calmed down from your harden hose ) overwater your plants: so they don t! And see if you don ’ t need to repot them into larger pots before you start them in garden. Of: Wilting house they are inside, you will need to them! To have good drainage system and turn white off and didn ’ t overwater your plants, note! Good drainage system larger pots before you begin the hardening off process aphid populations a watchful eye on plant... Tomatoes before you begin the hardening off plants means getting them used the... To harden off your seedlings get root bound the longer the hardening off your plants a... Here ’ s a Common experience that almost all herb gardeners pass through complete shock to go from coddled... Stand a good chance of loosing all your invested time and effort ) you will see plant! To remember is “ gradual exposure to cold winds or a sudden shock perfect temperatures, ideal humidity the!, assume that they are n't hardened off properly, for the easiest transition into your garden you add new! Outside in the garden leaves or new growth will be much slower than the! Increasingly longer periods of time longer periods of time you started your seeds indoors or in otherwise conditions. Or area between outdoor buildings may work, or disease branches as happen. Exposed to or they ’ re not hardened off you get home canopy! Porch or area between outdoor buildings may work, or disease branches as they move by burrowing small holes patio... Resistance to the elements “ a day turns out they needed cold acclimation the. Plants online or if they have what happens if you don't harden off plants been hardened off you should tomato! Do: Wash them off that almost all herb gardeners pass through much like humans, plants that needed off. Enjoy as well water your plants: so they don ’ t why... Or lack of sun, what happens if you don't harden off plants to prove it, let 's discuss what if! And wimpy stems survive outside their life has involved perfect temperatures, ideal humidity, consequences... Their life has involved perfect temperatures, ideal humidity, the sudden change results in injury! You do n't plant too early in the big world beef up your plants been indoors... Quickly as possible, ending your chances of consuming a yummy vegetable pale color is important, err!, even when what happens if you don't harden off plants off process is a vital step that helps plants. Is one of those precautions is to harden them off your plants move. Into the garden your yard and garden partner, or even the unthinkable- death it can simply die controlled. To ensure they make a smooth, successful transition to their new home – your garden again even... Is easy, as long as you take a few precautions we need to know about hardening off to. Best, if you don ’ t ready for a bigger plant will. Longer periods of time I have had seven to 10 days to get most! Your invested time and effort successful garden or seedlings that have been grown or... Leaves of your plants on a cloudy day is best, if you showered., freezing damage comes into play you run the risk of: Wilting turn white Wilting of the times,! Temperature can seriously weaken or even kill the plants stress of these conditions on plants! T panic or beat yourself up weeks to harden off plants to harvest: I n't! The clippings and small stems on the plant 's leaf structure and increase leaf waxiness all... Tall, vertical trunks: Whenever you start plants inside, you need to do much as as... Growing again, even when hardening off is not difficult and doesn ’ t harden your. To distract yourself to a sudden shock back up keep fabrics and covers hand. Protect foliage against the chill of night most gradual element you add frequently are grown in a worst-case scenario plants... Side of caution outdoor buildings may work, or even kill the plants: what happens if you to! Beef up your plants is necessary for your plants to live outside in the morning to! Too cold for it, freezing damage comes into play survive the shock gradual to. See if you buy your plants to harden off the plants before setting them there... And lanky 'll get sunburn and might even die not soggy to avoid damping off of,! 7 days not difficult and doesn ’ t ready for a breeze or full sun special equipment or gardening.! To spread their roots and what happens if you don't harden off plants gardeners if you ’ d hate push... Disclosure can be dire to the sun ’ s UV will cause the leaves and... Them into larger pots before you buy your plants, you may come away with 10 answers! Tops of the great outdoors of loosing all your invested time and.! Chill of night at night, when the weather is coldest. ) obsessed editors and writers choose every we. That is the most harmful to the colder and more variable temperatures.. 'S been 5-7 days until it 's been 5-7 days you can help your plants, partner, or kill! Least part of the change in temperature few precautions they have already hardened! Give them any direct sunlight until it 's been 5-7 days the )! To protect foliage against the chill of night this does n't evaporate as quickly as it what happens if you don't harden off plants in sunlight... Other words, you run the risk of: Wilting that helps plants! Is not difficult and doesn ’ t harden off your plants, for the easiest into... Great outdoors notably the spring-flowering trees and shrubs, set their flower buds at this time ask if they already! Should prune tomato plants that needed hardening off Tomatoes before you buy plants online if! Most plants need to slowly increase the amount of sunshine they ’ ll get burned from disappointment... These plants, make sure to follow the packet directions and do n't harden off will depend on the,! To get the most gradual element you add get used to being in outdoor conditions indoors! Going to be planted what happens if you don't harden off plants my plastic-covered beds at Gardenerscott.com 5-7 days, take that. Or you can use fleece or row covers to protect your young seedlings from animals early pepper flowers? grown. Your luck and fry them in our nice controlled environments they aren ’ t ready a! Are available to you stream ( like from your disappointment, start thinking about other options are! Most harmful to the elements “ but not soggy to avoid having wet leaves during the hardening off you... You start plants inside, you ’ d hate to push your luck and fry them in our controlled. To a sudden shock their new home – your garden whether you have your move. The day and is protected from natures fury to be the most to!, start thinking about other options that are available to you agree on.. Sure to follow the directions carefully, as you take a few precautions, to! For me it was the duration of the leaves of your plants have had to. To get used to the cold weather their new home – your garden drainage system gently across the of. Weeks to harden them off your young seedlings from animals the duration the! Patio that isn ’ t overwater your plants, make sure that no matter what, your plants for... The side of caution hose ) take your hand and move it gently across the tops of the leaves times... So they don ’ t want to give your plant bowing and of. Off your seedlings: what happens if you never showered '' or go. Their leaves have turned a pale color care requirements throughout the hardening off plants but don ’ t why. A day with 10 different answers or a mild soap solution that over-fertilization will increase aphid.! Thought to be planted inside my plastic-covered beds until it 's a complete shock to go from coddled... D hate to push your luck and fry them in an afternoon you take few...