Please visit the Chelan County Master Gardener Foundation website for more information about our annual Spring sale of plants including vegetables, herbs, perennials, and grasses, held in Wenatchee, Washington.
Proceeds from the sale, sponsored by the Chelan County Master Gardener Foundation, are essential to support our education programs, farmers market booths, fairs, and special projects. The Foundation supports our Community Education Garden, in Wenatchee, WA and continues to expand thanks to fundraisers such as the plant sale. Visit the garden to see how your support beautifies our community and provides an educational resource for gardeners.
Before you Plant– Hardening Off Plants
For any plants that are raised in a greenhouse, we recommend “hardening off” before planting them.
Seedlings such as half-hardy annuals, half-hardy perennials and many vegetables that are started indoors with heat must be gradually acclimated to the stronger light, winds and generally cooler night temperatures of the outdoors prior to planting out in their final locations. This conditioning is known as hardening-off. It takes anywhere from seven to fourteen days. The correct timing of plants for both hardening off and final site planting depends on the plants genetic cold hardiness and climate factors for the particular area.
When seedlings have reached an appropriate size and the timing is right for the individual plants to go outdoors into their final location, start the process of hardening off.
- Place pots or flats outdoors for several hours a day in a location of some morning sun and with protection from winds, and severe cold.
- Return them to the protection of an unheated porch, garage or greenhouse in late afternoon and overnight.
- Each day, for one to two weeks, increase the amount of time plants are outdoors and increase the light they receive to the appropriate light levels, eventually leaving them outdoors all night.
- At the end of the period, and after all risk of frost passes, plants are fully ready to go into the garden. Remember to protect them from predicted freezing winds and heavy rains which can dislodge seedlings.