Ask a Question forum: Hardening your indoor seedlings

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Name: Jeanne
Lansing, Iowa (Zone 5a)
May 18, 2015 9:44 AM CST
I have some seedlings under grow lights in my home. What is the proper way to get them ready to be planted outside? I am getting anxious to plant some of them outside. Thanks in advance.
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Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
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May 18, 2015 9:50 AM CST
I usually start off with morning sun for a few days and just keep increasing the amount of sun time if they are sun loving plants. With shade loving plants, any bright shade will do. You'll also wanting to be petting them (you should actually start doing this when true leaves start appearing if they are in an environment with no air movement). Running the palm of your hand gently over the tops .. what you are doing is mimicking breezes and wind outside. It strengthens the cell walls of the stems. An oscillating fan set on low will do the same thing.
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Name: Jeanne
Lansing, Iowa (Zone 5a)
May 18, 2015 10:07 AM CST
Thank you for reminding me about them needing a breeze to strengthen them. I knew that but had completely forgotten. I do have a fan that I could have been using. I do mist them so they do sway some when I do that. Thanks for answering my question. I will put them in the back of the house on the patio under our deck. They will be in morning sun and will be protected from the high winds.
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Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
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May 18, 2015 11:41 AM CST
You can also run your hands gently over the plants, sort of like you are petting them to strengthen them.

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