Hardening Off

I’ve reached the hardening off stage and just realised I haven’t a clue what that is. Well, when I say I haven’t a clue I mean I have an idea that it’s something to do with putting the plants in colder or more harsh conditions for a while before they go in the ground but I don’t ‘exactly’ know what to do. I’ve noticed that gardening books pass around the phrase like you ‘should’ know exactly what to do – but the truth is I don’t. So with 11 cucumber kids itching to get out into the big wide world and an amateur mum who knows virtually nothing I did the only thing you can do in this situation – I consulted the Oracle (that’s the Internet to you and me). I found this cool little article about Thigmomorphogenesis – a word which I will attempt to get into at least two sentences today!

4 Comments on “Hardening Off

  1. And I’ve just been calling it ‘seedling stroking’ which sounds a bit suspect really! Nice to know it’s a bit more scientific than that!

  2. Can i just say that your photos are always really nice. They make your blog look just splendid.

  3. Thigmomorphogenesis is such a cool word. I used it a lot when I learnt it :)

    Hardening off isn’t too big a deal really. It’s just about getting tender little plants that have been grown indoors used to the outside world. There are lots of things out there (wind and sun being the two biggies) which they need to develop a suitable response to.

    Cold frames are useful, but not essential. If you have one you put the plants in and leave the lid closed for a few days, then leave it open a bit for a few days and then leave it all the way open for a few days and voila! garden-ready plants. You have to keep an eye on them though, as a surprisingly sunny day when the lid is closed could be too hot. They will also need watering.

    Without a cold frame is also easy. You put plants outside on nice days and bring them in at night. Then you put them out on not-so-nice days and then you try leaving them out at night (assuming it’s not going to get too cold).

    Or… you can do it the lazy way and put them outside and then think about covering them if the weather gets unpleasant.

    I’m not an expert, but I haven’t lost any plants to bad hardening off, which makes me think that most of them are tougher than they look :)

    Happy gardening!

  4. Wow thanks Muppet – I just needed someone to say, here’s what you do. It’ll be trial and error (as things normally are) but it’s just case of knowing that what I’m doing is just what everyone else is doing.

    Thanks for the complement on the photos Al, I have a site full of photographs over here http:// http://www.gilliancarson.com