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We planred our cabbage and cauliflower seedlings into our allotment straight from the greenhouse. They have turned a strange shade of pink and are looking lifeless whereas they were very vealthy until then. What have we done wrong? 


You didn't hardening them off first, probably.

I put plants into a coldframe for 2 weeks, after the greenhouse. This allows enough time for the plant to get used to the cold.

You'd be pretty shocked if you jumped into the north sea, yes ? same goes for plants.

Hardening off is the key, even in June. Only time will tell, which plants are the strongest.


Unless the cut-worm has got at them.  They're pretty quick.

Garden Maniac

Hardening off is important - but stick with them - something may emerge yet!  It's happened to me, and there is the feeling of disappointment, but let them settle and all should be well, after a while.  

Thank you marshmello and Garden Maniac, I will persevere with them. I can quite see the point about jumping into the North Sea. Noted for next time. Welshunion, what is a cutworm? Sounds gruesome.



Everythings a learning curve VS, we all did it at some point. Just got to learn from a minor mistakes. 

Just a thought, isn't a cold frame the same as a greenhouse?


Valerie, yes but cheaper.


Definitley not the same. Greenhouses are warmer than coldframes.

Excuse my ignorance but what would be the point of "hardening off" in a cold-frame if it is the same as a greenhouse? Would you have it in a shadier part of the garden? 


A coldframe isn't the same as a greenhouse and if used correctly....a coldframes purpose, is to prepare young plants for the outside world. Because a coldframe is made from wood it doesn't heat up like a greenhouse. Therefore, it's a cold environment for which your plants can acclimatise to the outdoor conditions but still be protected enough from cold winds. Which is why your plants are suffering now, because they're being subjected to cold wind. They're showing signs of stress because they got use to the heat.

Thank you once again marshmello. Guess what hubby is getting me for my birthday? 


hahaha make it a large one. 

John Harding

I have the same problem Valerie, I bought some Brussell Sprout plants from a local nursery about 10 days ago: they were outside on the benches and looked fine. I assumed they had been hardened off but symptoms now are as you describe. They should recover though. I will add a little Epsom Salts to the soil around the plants, that's one thing that really gives Brassicas a boost. Instructions say don't let ES touch the plant stems, just add a little to the soil around the plant, fork it in with a small trowel/fork and water in. Works wonders.

Thank you SO much all of you. I will let you know how we get on in due course. V



My cold frame is plastic and wood and gets pretty warm if the lid is shut.


You don't need to shut the lid. Mine are all off, this time of year. Kind of defeats the purpose for which they were made for.  

We have bought the Epsom Salts, John, hubby to the rescue as i write. (Hopefully)

John Harding

How are your plants now Valerie? I treated mine with a little epsom salts, raked it in with a trowel & watered them and they've really greened up and have more than doubled in size in a week. John H

Hello John,

Hubby rushed out and bought the Epaon Salts and to his amazement they seem to be doing the trick. We still have a few sickly plants but won't give up on them. The rest are looking much healthier. Thank you very much for your help and i will give you a progress report in a week or so. V