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Hardening off

(10 Posts)
lasttimeround Wed 05-Apr-17 09:00:39

I'm new to gardening in colder climates and now based in Scotland. I've grown some plants from seed. I read I'm supposed to harden them off before planting out but it seems such a faff. Plus my sweet peas are getting floppy
Do people actually do this?

bookbook Wed 05-Apr-17 09:08:24

yes, I do! In Yorkshire here,
Tender stuff gets the full treatment .
Things like sweet peas it is more a case of go outside when a nice size , pop back into greenhouse if it goes below about 6º

lasttimeround Wed 05-Apr-17 18:26:35

Thanks. I'll keep going then before I take my chances.

Liara Wed 05-Apr-17 20:42:24

I do and I'm in southern europe! It's not just about temperatures, it's about getting them gradually used to the wind etc. too.

Kokapetl Wed 05-Apr-17 22:14:28

I do and I'm in the South of England. One year (when ds was born!) I didn't manage with about half the plants and could really tell which ones. The plants never really caught up.

jelly10 Thu 06-Apr-17 07:10:18

I'm new to this too so sorry if this is a stupid question...do you just put them outside during the day and bring them in at night? And how long do you do that for before planting them out?

shovetheholly Thu 06-Apr-17 07:25:32

From the RHS website: 'For the first week, leave outside during the day, but bring in at night. In the second week reduce to one layer of fleece. Towards the end of the fortnight remove the fleece during the day. If the weather is suitable leave the plants outside at night but ensure they are covered. Towards the end of the third week leave them uncovered before planting out.'

This is for hardy plants. For tender things like tomatoes, you need to avoid temperatures that are below around 5-6 C day or night, or they may die.

OhYouBadBadKitten Thu 06-Apr-17 07:27:36

Hardening off also makes them less prone to being chomped by slugs.

Ifailed Thu 06-Apr-17 07:28:50

What others have said. Remember there are two reasons for hardening off, one is for the plant to get used to a range of lower temperatures, the other is for it to get blown around, this helps strengthen the stem. Bearing this is mind, if you live in a particularly windy spot, you may want to make sure they get some protection in the first week.

lasttimeround Mon 10-Apr-17 08:25:32

Thanks everyone. And thanks for the detail - I was starting to wonder if I'm doing it right as I have a fair number of casualties. Poor plants.

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