When our last cold winter came, I had to bring some herbs indoors to survive, otherwise, the temperature changes and frost would kill my poor plants. I was able to preserve my Rosemary, Scented Geranium, Lemon Verbena and Thai Basil growing indoors over the cold season. At first, they had a little trouble adjusting to the new conditions when I moved them inside, and after I waited for the warm weather to stabilize so I could plant the Herbs right back into the ground, I saw they had the same problem with acclimatizing to their new place.
Thanks to this accident, I’ve observed that herbs have a really hard time readjusting to the outdoor environment.
The same thing happens with the seedlings that I have grown indoors. I was looking forward to meeting the warm season for so long that I felt like I couldn’t wait to plant them when summer finally came.
I wanted to transplant them into my garden sooner so that my babies would grow faster and produce fresh leaves and fruits right away. Of course, I’m joking on the last note. Please let me know in the comments if you feel this way too. I am with you and totally understand.
When we as human beings feel the need to head out into the summer sun, we want our plants to go out there and get good exposure to the sun too. The main difference between us and our plants is that we can wear our clothes in layers in accordance with the weather, but our tiny seedlings do not possess this ability. What can we do to save them?
We have to patiently and intentionally harden them off.
Watch my below video where I answer “What is hardening?” and explain how to harden off your seedlings or plants that you want to move outdoors.
If we want to make the transition from the indoors to the outdoors for our seedlings, we need to take some careful steps to help them adjust to the new conditions, or else they are going to get hurt by the sun, wind, rain, and nights that are all much harsher than what they have gotten used to in your home.
If you just want 3 steps made simple on how to harden your seedlings, be sure to check out https://growagoodlife.com/how-to-harden-off-seedlings/
For those who want a more technical explanation on why it is important to harden off, and a solution using a cold frame (a heated box with a window you can open and close), you can learn more at https://www.maximumyield.com/flying-the-nest-how-to-harden-off-seedlings/2/1330
There is another way to toughen up your seedlings by withholding water from them. You can find more information for this method by visiting https://www.thespruce.com/how-to-harden-off-plants-1402554
If you have a greenhouse, you can find an additional solution for hardening your seedlings inside of it at https://www.growveg.com/guides/how-to-successfully-harden-off-seedlings/