Plants are like babies. When we start them indoors, we keep them sheltered and give them everything they need for success—consistent temperature, plenty of light, and the perfect amount of water. But eventually, they have to go out into the big outside world, and that’s why you need to “harden off” your seedlings. Hardening off is the process of getting indoor-started seedlings accustomed to the outdoor environment by gradually exposing them to daily shifts in temperature, light, and water. As you prepare your onion, pepper, and tomato plants (or any others) for transplant, read your seed packet to know when to transplant outdoors as not at all crops tolerate frost. Below are some general guidelines to help your seedlings get all “grown up.”
By following these steps and referring to each packet for specific instructions on when to start the transplant process, you’ll have a head start on your gardening season. Your plants will be growing steadily in their outdoor garden bed in no time!