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Earl K
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What exactly is hardening

I planted some cucumber and greenbean seeds 3 days ago and will be ready for thier transplant soon-do i need to harden them and if so how do you go about doing that?

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hendi_alex
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There have been some pretty good threads on this issue. I'm no expert on the science, but it goes something like this. Plants outside get blown in the wind and get blasted with lots of sunshine and that stimulates the plants to make a protective "hard" covering or outer layer of cells. Inside a house where the light is gentle and there may be no breeze at all, the plants are not so stimulated, therefore do not grow the protective covering. So hardening off is to gradually expose the plants to breeze and sunlight, so the over a several day period the plants grow those outer layers and toughen up. For very 'soft' plants, I take about 7-10 days for the process, though I have read that it takes less time than that. Also, you can begin the process by placing a fan in the room and letting the gentle breeze rock the plants. Don't blow them too hard though.

I have two techniques. One is to place the plants in the shade with a wind barrier, and gradually move the plants each day, closer to the sun and after a few days totally removing the wind barrier. The plants eventually make it out into the full sun. My other method is to start the plants out in the morning sun, but placing them where the shade overtakes them after an hour or two. Each day the plants are moved a little further out from the shade so that the sun exposure time is increased a bit each day. These plants eventually get move far enough out that the shade no longer over takes them. Well before then the plants have already hardened and are ready for the bright sunlight and wind.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

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Earl K
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i have my seeds in a divided tray,i have been keeping them on the porch .should they be kept inside or do people do this due to thier weather?3 days and already sprouting.give them some sun later in the day,is this ok

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hendi_alex
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Others should have it so good! I germinate my seedlings either inside the house or in the greenhouse. But just as soon as they are up, if the outside temperature is sixty or more, the plants go outside into sun and wind. Obviously these plants need no hardening, because from the youngest stage they have been blown by the wind, and have been exposed to the brightest of sunlight.

BTW, posted this on another thread, but will mention it here as well. Most seeds like to germinate somewhere between 60 and 75 degrees. So in Florida, if outside conditions take the seed tray over 80 degrees, I would suggest moving the seeds inside where the temperature is likely to be more ideal for germination.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

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Earl K
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Thanks for the info,I guess once theyre established -to the flower box they go

Earl K

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atascosa_tx
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Alex has explained hardening off perfectly. That's how you take a pampered plant that was grown indoors and introduce it into the real world.
Even after your plant has hardened off you may need to protect it from strong winds for a few weeks if any strong winds are in the forecast.

Happy Gardening.
Feed your soil and your soil will feed you

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Earl K
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seeds were started outdoors so they should start to harden as soon as they break the soil.is this correct?4 days and i have 16 cukes and two green bean seedlings already popping up through the soil.Sorry but growing in florida is great.

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atascosa_tx
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forget the hardening off if they are directly sown into the garden..
Feed your soil and your soil will feed you

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