When it’s time to put your seedlings out in the garden, knowing how to “harden off” your little plants first will give them the best shot at survival in the new wild outdoor world.
Despite the chilly spring, it’s about time to plant out your indoor seedlings into their summer garden home! To minimize transplant shock (or possibly even the loss of some of your baby plants), it is best to “harden off” for about a week or two before planting them out in the garden.
Hardening your plants off means giving them temporary access to outdoor weather, and gradually increasing their exposure to get them used to the outdoor climate before you plant them in the garden.
Typically you want to start this process at least a week before transplanting them outside. Some plants may need 2 weeks.
This short video explains the process, and shares some helpful tips for giving your seedlings the best chance of surviving the trauma of transplanting: