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hardening off

hardening off
 n.— «It is best not to put seedling so young directly out in the garden. “Hardening off” is the term for gradually acclimating them to outdoor conditions. I use an half-way house, also known in garden circles as a cold frame, i.e., an enclosed, bottomless box with a clear glass or plastic lid that can be propped open for ventilation or closed against a chilly night.» —“Gardener to tomatoes: Step outside!” by Valerie Sudol Star-Ledger (New Jersey) May 6, 2008. (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)

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