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Hardening Off Transplants

The trip from the warm humid greenhouse to the harsh outdoors can be hard on our garden transplants. You can make that transition easier and recovery quicker with a little extra effort on your part.

Start the process about one to two weeks prior to the recommended outdoor planting date. Move the transplants to a sheltered location near the warmth of your home, in the shade of a tree, or other protected spot.

Stop fertilizing and water as the soil starts to dry. Each day move the plants to a bit sunnier location. And dont rush the process or your plants will be sunburned.

Move the plants indoors or cover when temperatures drop. I like to cheat a bit. I use row covers to reduce my workload while helping the plants transition to the outdoors.

After two weeks your plants will be ready for their permanent location outdoors.

A bit more information: Save time when moving transplants in and out of frost protecting shelter. Place flats of transplants in a childs wagon, plastic sled or swimming pool. Simply pulled or slide the plant filled item into the garage or sheltered area when temperatures drop. And with a simple tug your transplants can be slid back outdoors.

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