Do I need to harden off plug plants?

A few customers have asked whether or not they would need to harden off their veg plants when they arrive. Normally at this time of year it wouldn’t be necessary, however, it has been cold and windy, so it is a good idea to harden off at least the more tender plants, like squash, beans, peas and sweetcorn.

Which plants to harden off:

  • Beans – French, Runner & Borlotti
  • Peas – Mangetout, Sugarsnap, Garden
  • Sweetcorn
  • Winter Squash & Pumpkin
  • Summer Squash/Courgette
  • Cucumber
  • Tomato
  • Aubergine
  • Chilli/Pepper

(If they’re not on the list above, you can plant them straight out)

How to harden them off:

Plant them temporarily in their punnets with a little compost, or in small pots if you have them. During the daytime, pop them outside to get used to the climate, and then bring them back under cover at night time – to a greenhouse, porch or similar. Do this for a few days before planting them out permanently . 4-6 days of hardening off should do the trick at this time of year, unless it gets very cold and windy again!