What on earth is… “hardening off”?

AubergineIf you’re fairly new to gardening, you my have come across this term and wondered what it is all about. Basically, it means toughening your baby plants up so that they are able to cope with the great outdoors when you plant them outside (most veg plants will spend their first few weeks growing from seed in a greenhouse or polytunnel, so they’re used to being nice and warm and need to adapt to the cooler climate.)

Hardening off your plants is a very simple process. You simply have the plants growing in their little pots, and you pop them outside for a couple of hours during the day, let them get used to the climate a bit, and then bring them back inside. You repeat this process for a week to ten days, increasing the amount of time they spend outside each day, before finally planting them outside.

Make sure you’re putting them in a nice sheltered and sunny spot when hardening off your plants, and, if it’s a frosty morning, wait until it’s warmed up a bit!

With Rocket Gardens, you don’t need to do this for the vast majority of plants as we do that bit for you, so your plants are ready for outside life when they arrive with you. The only ones you need to harden off are aubergines, peppers, chillies and tomatoes if you plan to grow them outside rather than in a greenhouse.