Cardwell’s Survival Guide to Beat the Boredom – Part 6

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Make sure your plants have a hard day’s night!

Lockdown goes on, but it’s worth remembering that it’s there to keep us all safe and well, so let’s make the best of it in our gardens.

A good way of beating any boredom you may be feeling and to keep active and get some fresh air is by getting out into your garden. Here are some handy hints from our gardening expert, George Irvine. Here’s what he’s saying this week:

Summer bedding plants raised indoors, or grown in a greenhouse have quite tender tissue and need to be toughened up a bit before being planted outdoors during this month and early June.

The process of hardening off is a gradual transition to cooler conditions, lower humidity and increased air movement and this needs to be done over a period of at least a couple of weeks.

Unless gardeners acknowledge this important stage in the growing life of plants, they risk a severe check on the plant growth and maybe even cause the plants to die.

To undertake the hardening off process the plants should be placed outside for just two or three hours during daytime and then returned to the greenhouse or indoors.

Over the space of a few days gradually increase the time the plants are left outside unattended before returning them indoors in the evening.

Keep doing this for another few days until the plants are outdoors for almost a full day.

After this has been achieved you can leave them outside for a night or two and they should be ready to plant outside afterwards.

It goes without saying that plants such as tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers should remain in the greenhouse or indoors and should not be hardened off.

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