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7 Steps to Hardening Off Seedlings

Several times over the years, I’ve tried to just plant my seedlings when I thought it was warm enough only to have them die due to shock! Hardening off will not only prevent shock, it will create stronger root development, increase resistance to environmental stress, and create healthier plants in the long run.

Here are the steps on how to harden off your seedlings…

Introduction to Natural Light

If you’ve been growing your seedlings under grow lights, it’s important to gradually introduce them to natural light. Start by placing them in a partial shaded area for a few hours a day. Gradually increase the amount of direct sunlight they receive. This will help prevent shock and sunburn on your plants from the changes in light intensity.

Say “NO” to weather extremes!

Try to avoid transplanting your seedlings during extreme weather such as cold snaps, heat waves or periods of heavy rain. Extremes will stress your plants and throw them into shock.

Shade First - Direct Sun Later

Always remember that direct sunlight doesn’t happen until your seedlings have adjusted to natural light and being outside. In the beginning of the hardening off process, use a shade cloth or a shaded area to protect them from direct sunlight.


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