Here comes the bride — and the groom, the bridesmaids, and the groomsmen – plan ahead, practice a little, and then enjoy bring... Read more »
Choose flowers you really love for romantic and beautiful wedding centerpieces you’ll always remember. Read more »
When you’re filling out your wish-list of wedding gifts, don’t forget to include supplies for the garden shed. With the right... Read more »
The first time you try our PowerGear2™ Pruner, you’ll be amazed — but it’s not magic, it’s gears. Our patented gear techno... Read more »
The first time you try our PowerGear®2 Titanium Hedge Shears, you’ll be amazed — but it’s not magic, it’s gears. Our patented g... Read more »
The first time you try our PowerGear2™ Lopper, you’ll be amazed — but it’s not magic, it’s gears. Our patented-pending tec... Read more »
Making your own wedding invites and thank you cards is a delightful task when you a few versatile tools and simple techniques... Read more »
Adding a small photo charm to a bride’s bouquet is a touching way for a bride to remember someone special on her wedding day. Read more »
Create a beautiful setting for your post-wedding brunch. Using these Fiskars tools will make the project even easier. 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 »
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 »
Choose our low-maintenance Photo Bypass Paper Trimmer to trim large quantities of photos with speed and precision. An easy-to-u... Read more »
Window treatments can turn a room from drab to fab, but if you’re on a budget sometimes hand-me-down curtains will have to do,... Read more »
Crop tops are making a comeback, but with a new shape, a longer length and a swinging silhouette. Stay ahead of the trends by... Read more »
If you’re not ready to fully embrace the trend for bold 70’s prints in your clothing, why not reflect it with a gloriously lou... 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 tight, precise cuts, our Amplify® Mixed Media Shears sense blade separation and force the blades back together to c... Read more »
Our Classic Stick Rotary Cutter with a 45 mm blade is ideal for crisp, controlled cuts on a wide variety of materials. A symmet... Read more »
Make clean up time a fun game for the kids! It becomes really easy for toddlers and preschoolers to match their toys to their... Read more »
Funny Face Magnet Gift Wrap is simple to make and quite literally gives each gift magnetic personality. Read more »
“Painting” with tissue paper is not only fun but beautiful! 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 »
Introduced to the world as a quality fabric scissors, the Original Orange-Handled Scissors redefined the standard for cutting p... 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