Temperatures in Alaska are warming, and the days are growing longer. However, that doesn’t mean it’s time to put your plants outside.
After plants spend the winter months being “pampered” in greenhouses or inside homes, they need time to readjust to the elements. Hardening off plants is the process of getting them acclimated to outside temperatures, the sun’s UV rays and wind. If the process isn’t done correctly, your plants could become damaged or die.
Hardening off your plant will take about a week. Start by prepping your plant for the sun by putting it outdoors in a shaded, wind-protected spot for a few hours at a time. Outdoor temperatures should be mild — 50s are ideal. Gradually move the plant into a sunnier spot throughout the week, and increase the length of time it spends outdoors. At the end of the week, your plant should be adjusted to the sunlight.
If temperatures are still dropping to near-freezing at night, you’ll want to continue the hardening off process. Once temperatures are well above freezing both day and night, you can leave plants outside for the summer months. It’s safest to wait until after Memorial Day, May 30 this year, in case of a light freeze or frost.
Find more tips from Bell’s Nursery on getting your garden ready, check out their website.
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