How to acclimatise plants

by Anna | 23.10.2013 | 2 steps | easy | 5 - 10 Min. | Rating: 4 votes

Don't let all your hard work go to waste, follow our handy guide to acclimatising seedlings instead!

If you’re new to gardening, then you’re probably extremely excited about the prospect of growing a few plants from seeds. It’s fantastic when the first seedlings begin to germinate, but they can quickly start to take over valuable windowsill space. However, if you put your plants outside too early on in the year, one cold night can destroy all your hard work. To avoid this, seedlings must be acclimatised to ensure that they can survive fluctuating temperatures.

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Plants
Seedlings
Materials
Greenhouse or cold frame (optional)
Seedlings in plastic tray

Seedlings in plastic tray

Seedlings in plastic tray

Step 1

Acclimatising

Acclimatising plants is relatively easy. Once seedlings have grown so large that they need to be potted into bigger containers or placed outside, you have to ensure that they’re not going to be shocked by cold temperatures. This is done by moving trays of young plants outside during warmer days. As the evening draws in and temperatures drop, seedlings should be brought back into the warmth.

Items:
Seedlings
cold frame

cold frame

cold frame

Step 2

Repeat

This process should be carried out over a number of consecutive days to ensure that plants become used to varying temperatures so it take 5 to 10 minutes a day for about a week. If there is still a chance of frost, it’s a good idea to keep bringing plants into the warm each night. Alternatively, after a few days of acclimatising, you can leave plants in a frost-free cold frame or greenhouse overnight. Cold frame lids and greenhouse doors can then be opened during the day to allow ventilation, before plants are once again protected at night.

After all chance of frost has passed, plant vegetables or flowers into their final locations.

Items:
Greenhouse or cold frame (optional)
Plants
Seedlings
Materials
Greenhouse or cold frame (optional)
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