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This is part 3 of this series, “Hardening Off and Transplanting.” In the protected environment of a greenhouse, cold frame, or indoors under lights, seedlings tend to grow rapidly and produce large cells with thin walls. This “soft growth,” as it’s called, has not prepared the pepper seedling for the rigors of the early spring garden. Its leaves are not accustomed to the strong ultraviolet rays of the sun, its stems are not strong enough to withstand high winds, its roots are not established enough for dry conditions, and the entire plant is subject to low temperature shock. Unless properly conditioned for the outside, pepper seedlings may be sunburned, wind-whipped, and injured by low temperatures or even heavy rains. Read the entire article, “Hardening Off and Transplanting” here.