Hardening Off

** NOTE ** Your Seedlings need to be Hardened Off**

Hello farm friend! I’m Laura, owner of Fence Post Flower Farm in Romeo, MI. I grew the plants you’ve brought home today. I want to explain the term “hardening off” to you.

Our plants grow in a balmy, consistent 72*F grow room. They get 14 hours of light a day and we have an oscillating fan to give them some strength as they grow.

Michigan’s outside weather has rain, wind, and temperature fluctuations from 80’s to 40’s. A person usually can grab a coat or run inside when the weather turns bad. Our plants don’t have that option so we need to give them a chance to get used to the sunlight, temperature, and weather conditions of living outside.

Plants need a week or so to get used to living outside. I’ve had your plants in our garage overnight and brought them outside to a shady spot when the weather was above 55*F.

Right now, our forecast shows temperatures below 50*F.

MOST of the plants in this sale are called Warm Season Tender Annuals. This means they are a plant that grows for one season (annual) and the tender part means they need temperatures above 50*F.

Planting tomatoes, peppers, basil, zinnias, squashes, pumpkins, cucumbers, melons, and more before overnight temperatures are over 50*F can stunt your plant’s growth, kill it, or prevent it from thriving this year. I don’t know about you but I’d prefer to use my garden space for thriving plants.

We won’t be planting most of our garden until AFTER Memorial Day. The exceptions are Snap Peas, Onions, and Cilantro.

Fence Post Flower Farm Grow space

How do you Harden off Plants?

This can and should be done for any plants purchased from a greenhouse or nursery as well.

We put our plants on tables that we can easily move into and out of the garage. I recommend setting plants on a table or cart that is taller than rabbits, slugs, dogs, kids, etc.

Keep the plants inside until the temperature reaches 55*F.

Then set outside in a partly sunny spot for the rest of the day.

Bring inside for the night.

When nighttime temperatures will be above 55*F (giving a little wiggle room for the weather apps to be wrong). Let them stay outside overnight.

Continue this process until you’ve given the plants 2-3 full days and nights of outside experience. Slowly moving them from a shady spot to a sunny spot (be sure to keep plants watered). This helps the plants acclimate and thrive.

We watch the weather and bring plants inside if it’s going to be very windy or have heavy rains.

We won’t be planting outside in our garden or in our garden pots until the 10-day forecast has lows ABOVE 55*F.

The best time to plant is a cloudy day to reduce transplant shock, but sometimes you have to just get plants in the ground when you have time. Be sure to deeply water the plants once they are in the ground and check on them a few hours later to make sure the ground is still damp.

Any Questions? Email Laura hello@FencePostFlowerFarm.com

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

You May Also Like…