The Q&A Archives: hardening off

Question: Is it necessary to harden off seedlings raised in a hobby greenhouse? It doesn't seem to me that annuals I buy from my local commerical greenhouse can possibly be hardened off due to the labor intensity.

Answer: Plants that are grown in ideal conditions such as a greenhouse will suffer if planted outdoors without being hardened off, unless the weather is warm. Usually the plants are only shocked enough to make them just sit there and pout. Sometimes they wilt but eventually recover. If you want your plants to adapt quickly and grow well, you will set them outdoors during the day and bring them in at night. The entire process will only take a week and when the plants are transplanted into the garden, they'll barely skip a beat. They'll just dig their little roots in and grow. It really is worth the effort to have healthy, robust transplants to put into the garden.

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