Keeping the garden tidy requires a few deft moves with the right tools, and, time and again over the seasons, shrub rakes are... Read more »
Entire books have been written on the science of making compost, but it isn’t as hard as people think. In five easy steps, you... Read more »
Weeding, pruning, and raking all make a huge difference in the appearance of a garden, but, to finish the job, you have to rou... Read more »
The Fiskars® aluminum shrub rake features a slim head with uniquely tapered tines that are perfect for reaching into tight spac... Read more »
Our Eco Bin Composter features an easy-to-assemble, easy-to-use design that can simplify and speed the composting process. It i... Read more »
Our HardShell® Kangaroo® Gardening Container is perfect for all your outdoor cleanup needs — whether you’re gathering yard and... Read more »
Are school fundraiser ideas keeping you up at night? A unique handmade art piece that represents your school is sure to be a p... Read more »
Creating beautiful and personal touches does not have to be difficult, especially when you have great designs to work with! Read more »
Recycle and give a new life to some of your old T-shirts Read more »
Teresa Collins is a top craft celebrity who has been featured numerous times on My Craft Channel, HSN, QVC and DIY network, wel... Read more »
Our unique Tag Maker with Built-in Eyelet Setter features an innovative design that makes it easy to create tags perfect for gi... Read more »
By creating a few simple tags, you won’t be caught at the fabric store not knowing what fabrics or yardage you have in your st... Read more »
A brocade drawstring pouch can be a beautiful and luxurious accessory or gift. Read more »
Transform a simple hoodie into a super simple unicorn costume and take the stress and pressure out of making a complicated Hal... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Serrated Fabric Shears sense blade separation an... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force t... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of crafting and mixed media tasks, our Amplify® Mixed Media Shears sense blade separation and force th... Read more »
Try some new punches out and make some cards to celebrate World Card Making Day! Read more »
A personalized Duck Tape® crown is quick and easy to make with your Fiskars® Duck® Edition Scissors. It is a fun way to cele... Read more »
Our Preschool Training Scissors features a special training lever that opens the blades after each cut, helping children learn... Read more »
Children love our Designer Non-stick Blunt-tip Kids Scissors for the colorful handle patterns that make cutting fun and the non... Read more »
Our Designer Non-stick Student Scissors are larger than our Kids Scissors but smaller than adult scissors, perfect for those ol... Read more »
Transform a basic jacket into something personal and unique. Read more »
Create a simple reusable calendar to plan all of your back to school activities. Read more »
Creating a miniature collage with your Fiskars® Duck® Edition Scissors is a great way to use up any last bits of Duck Tape® yo... Read more »
Designed for long, easy cuts down strips of Duck® Tape, our Duck® Edition Scissors feature a non-stick blade coating that preve... Read more »
Designed for all-purpose cutting through a range of craft materials that incorporate glue, tape and other sticky adhesives, our... Read more »
Designed for tight, precise cuts through a range of craft materials that incorporate glue, tape and other sticky adhesives, our... Read more »
Hardening them off, of course!
Hardening off refers to preparing tender young plants for the harsher conditions of the outside world. Whether you begin seeds indoors in a brightly lit window or start them off in a greenhouse on a heating pad, young plants that have been coddled along will need some toughening up before they will have a fighting chance in the wilds of nature’s fickle spring weather.
A surprise hailstorm on a late spring day isn’t unheard of. Those pounding, frozen pellets of water can easily puncture and demolish young plants. Too, a heavy rain can do irreparable damage to delicate sprouts. Something as simple as moving a pampered plantlet from the warm, protected indoors to the cold, harsh outdoors, can cause irreparable damage – unless you transition your plants’ environments slowly. So, rather than risk losing your tender young babes and end up several weeks behind on your production schedule, take a few simple precautions to help them build a thicker “skin”.
When temperatures begin to warm during the day, gather up your tender plants, and place them in a protected, sunny outside spot for a few hours during the day. Then, before nightfall, move the plants back inside. Repeat this for several days, extending the number of hours your plants are left outside as the days go by. As you do this, you should begin to notice that the stems and leaves become thicker and sturdier as the days go by. After about a week of this indoor-outdoor-indoor rotation, you may be able to leave your plants outside overnight. Just be sure overnight temperatures won’t get anywhere near freezing and nothing harsh will be falling from the sky or blowing about. And, be sure to keep your young plants in a protected spot.
Season extenders are one of the best tools a gardener can employ for hardening off tender young plants. Passive greenhouses, hoop houses, and cold frames have the capacity to capture and hold warmth. This means they are ideal new homes for your sensitive seedlings. If you have access to one, try using it as your “protected location” throughout your hardening off period. Just be sure to vent it slightly during times – even cold days – when these structures may maximize sunlight rapidly and fry your plants. Venting will also keep air flowing, which helps reduce disease problems. And, venting will let in a bit of the outdoors to start training your youngsters to hold up under new conditions. Shutting these structures before nightfall will help hold heat and keep your plants from shocking out in the cold. And, in cooler, short-season climates, season extenders prove priceless for keeping your crops protected until warm weather really arrives for good. Plus, as the name suggests, they are great tools for growing much later in the year than nature itself might allow.
Next up in this series: Transplanting Your Starts to Their Final Destination
Last in this series: Potting Up: What, Why, When & How