The Q&A Archives: Vegetable Starts

Question: I live in Arizona, what is the proper method to harden off my new veggie plants?

Answer: Hardening off is simply a matter of helping your little plants get used to conditions in the great outdoors. Begin by placing them outside in a shady area during the day and taking them back indoors at night. Allow the plants to remain outdoors for longer and longer periods of time until they are spending 24 hours a day outside. This process should only take about a week. Then gradually move them into the sunshine. Start with an hour or two of morning sun; in a few days expose them to 4 hours of morning sun; then add a few hours of afternoon sun, increasing exposure time each day. In another week they should be able to tolerate all day sunshine without harm. Best wishes with your little veggies!

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