Who is Joe?
Joe Baltrukonis has been a member of the University of Minnesota Extension Ramsey County Master Gardener Program since 2000. He frequently publishes articles on sustainable and eco-friendly horticultural topics for not only our members, but for other gardening organizations as well. His wife Jennifer, edits and proofs Joe's articles- her eye for detail keeps Joe's information accurate and timely. Jennifer also writes articles for us. We hope you enjoy perusing this website for gardening topics that interest you, the home gardener.

Your plants have been carefully pampered indoors now for some weeks. Yet, the plants are tender and need to be toughened up before they can be put out into the garden. If we plant the seedlings directly from our warm homes and out into the rough and tumble, spring-time environment of our gardens, they can become stunted and fail to thrive. The process of toughening up the plants is called hardening off. Harden off the plants that you have started, and as a precaution, the plants you purchased at a nursery too.