by University of Missouri .
Written in English
What the vegetable plants need is a hardening off period where they can slowly adapt to the more intense light, winds, temperature variations, and other conditions that they will encounter in the outdoor world. Hardening off requires time but the process itself is a simple one. The Hardening Off Process for Home Grown Seedlings. Hardening off seedlings gradually exposes the tender plants to the wind, sun, and rain. toughening them up by thickening the cuticle on the leaves so they lose less water when exposed to the elements. This helps prevent transplant shock, the term used for seedlings that languish, become stunted, or die from sudden changes in temperature. The way to help your seedlings build up a resistance is to harden off your seedlings. Hardening off is an easy process and will make your plants grow better and stronger when you do plant them out into the garden. Steps for Hardening off Seedlings. Hardening off is really just gradually introducing your baby plants to the great outdoors. Hardening is the process of exposing transplants (seedlings) gradually to outdoor conditions. It enables your transplants to withstand the changes in environmental conditions they will face when planted outside in the garden. It encourages a change from soft, succulent growth to a firmer, harder growth.
Whether you start your seeds indoors or buy seedlings, chances are they have been coddled and protected from the elements. After all of this babying, plants need time to acclimate to harsh outdoor conditions. The gradual exposure to the elements is a process is called hardening off. We also think of it as a boot camp for : Kerry Michaels. Hardening off is the process of acclimating plants to outdoor conditions. In some parts of the country, this process is well under way. In northern settings or places of higher altitude where the possibilities of frosts will continue for another two or three weeks, we’re still waiting. Timing is important. Hardening of the plants in the nursery. The term hardening includes "Any treatment that makes the tissues firm to withstand unfavourable environment like low temperature, high temperature and hot dry wind." Hardening is physiological accumulate more carbohydrates reserves and produce additional quiticle on the leaves. Hardening off tender plants. Plants raised indoors or in a greenhouse need to be acclimatised to cooler temperatures, lower humidity and increased air movement for about two to three weeks before they are planted outdoors. This ‘toughening up’ process is known as hardening off.
One of the most important steps in planting comes before your plants get near the garden. This is the process of hardening off. Your plants have spent their short lives in a warm, sunny, protected place and need to get used to the outdoors gradually before they can be planted safely in your garden. Cold hardening is a process in which a plant undergoes physiological changes to avoid, or mitigate cellular injuries caused by sub-zero temperatures. Non-acclimatized individuals can survive −5 °C, while an acclimatized individual in the same species can survive −30°C. Place a small table under a tree or in another shady part of your outdoor space to harden off seedlings at first. Set plants outdoors on the table for an hour or 2 at the beginning of the hardening off process. Put the plants outdoors during mid-day, when the sun is at its warmest%(27). This process is called “hardening off.” Without hardening off, your tomatoes are more susceptible to sunburn, windburn, and breakage. Gradual exposure helps your plants toughen up and reduces the possibility of injury. With proper hardening off, they’ll have an easier transition to the garden and begin producing fruit sooner.