How to Harden off Your Plants

You’ve just picked out the most beautiful plants from your favourite local Greenhouse, but you don’t know what the next step is. There are a few things you need to know before you transfer them outside to enjoy for the months to come.

So, what is hardening off? Hardening off gradually toughens the plants up by thickening the cuticle on the leaves so that they don’t lose water and allows the plants an easier transition from the greenhouse to the garden.

While the greenhouse can offer sun and heat it doesn’t supply the plant with wind and large temperature variations causing the plant to be tender, this is where the process of hardening comes in handy. This process can take up to a week depending on Mother Nature, but with patience and consistency, your garden will be sure to blossom.

Start by placing plants in a protected area for about two hours (i.e., a covered deck, hedges etc.) a day gradually increasing the time spent outside.

Now that they are getting used to the elements outdoors, the last step is to leave your plant out overnight. At this point and if the weather looks promising (meaning no immediate or drastic changes) you are ready to transplant your new beloved plants!

Although this spring has been brutal and unpredictable. The rule of thumb, green thumb, that is, is to wait until after May long weekend to transplant.

Best of luck & Happy planting!

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