Posted: 05/05/2012 at 22:26
I always harden plants off before planting them out, no matter where I get them from. Even though my local garden centre displays their plants in an open air courtyard, it gets protection from strong winds and must have a slightly warmer climate dues to the surround of buildings. Also, quite rightly mentioned already, its feels great to buy plants in flower but often they have come straight from polytunnels and nurseries forcing them on to look their best and encourage sales. And it works! I can't resist a flowering plant.
Hardening off just involves bringing plants into the porch or house or sheltered spot each night for a week or ten days to give them time to adjust the cooler more exposed conditions of our back gardens.