Plants that you have reared in a warm place like a porch or sunny window sill are soft and tender and not frost hardy. So, they will need some hardening off before planting them out in the garden. There’s a couple of things you can do to toughen them up, ideally over a two or three week period.
- Leave them outside in a sheltered spot (away from strong winds) during the day and bring them back in at night.
- After a week, leave them outside with some protection. You can make a simple cloche (cover) by cutting off the end of a plastic water bottle (ask an adult for help) or use recycled plastic containers. Have a look around the house. Covering the plants with newspaper ( if it’s not raining or windy) also helps keep the chill away.
- Finally, leave the plants out day and night before planting.
And of course, keep an eye on the forecast!