Many of you have been growing your seeds from the $10 Garden Seed Kit for your spring garden indoors for about 6 weeks now. You’ve been giving them lots of love by watering and fertilizing them. You’ve been preparing them for the transition to the big outdoors by hardening them off. Finally, they day is here – it’s time to get them planted outdoors in the garden. What an exciting day!
Follow these simple tips and your seedling’s transition from indoors to outdoors is sure to be a success!
How big should seedlings be before transplanting outdoors?
Although there is no absolute rule of how big a seedling should be to transplant outdoors, I like to transplant my seedlings when they have 3-4 sets of true leaves. True leaves are different from the baby leaves that the seedling has when it first sprouts. They are the adult leaves that look like the leaves of the veggie you are growing. Transplanting at this stage will ensure that the seedling will be strong enough to weather the outdoor elements in a larger container or in your garden.
When to plant outdoors?
In order to make transplanting a successful process, the right timing is critical. Put them outside too soon and they may not be ready for the harsher outdoor environment. If you wait too long to transplant, they may become stunted and root bound in their original containers.
If you live in a cold winter climate, it’s safe to move your warm weather seedlings outdoors after your last frost date of the season, and when the nights have warmed up to 50-65 degrees F on a regular basis. By waiting for the right time, your warm weather veggies won’t get damaged by frost. Find out here when your last frost date is.
Prepare you garden bed
Remove weeds and rocks in your garden bed and loosen the soil a few inches down. I like to use a pitchfork or hand cultivator and break up any large dirt chunks so the soil is nice and loose.
Amend your soil
Most of us have less than perfect soil in our gardens and need amend (or improve) our soil with organic nutrients, such as compost. Compost only increases the nutrients in the soil, and loosens up compacted soil, so that air, water, nutrients and roots can penetrate.
Add a few inches of compost to your garden bed, working it in with your pitchfork or shovel. Next, thoroughly wet down your garden bed until the soil is nice and moist, but not muddy. Now you are ready to plant your garden!
Lay out your plants
Before I plant a garden bed, I like to lay out my seedlings to get an idea of what will fit in my garden bed. Space them out according to the directions on
the seed packets, and check out my eBook “Growing 5 Warm Weather Veggies Made Easy” for for more specific info on how to grow each veggie.
Dig a hole – add organic nutrients
Dig a hole a bit deeper and wider than the container your plant is in. Add some good organic nutrients to the planting hole. These nutrients feed your plant right away, gets it off to a good start and helps to avoid transplant shock. My favorite nutrients to the planting hole are Trifecta+(has quick release and slow release nutrients) and Vermisterra Worm Castings. You can purchase them for a 10% discount through the above links.
Time to Plant!
Carefully grasp the plant stem, turn your container over, and gently squeeze the container to loosen the plant. If you are using the containers made from recycled material, just peel away the container from the plant.
Place your plant in the hole you dug, cover with soil and water around the base of the plant. I like to water with Vermisterra Worm Tea, which is especially good for stimulating root development and helping your plant grow healthy and productive.
Congratulations! Your spring garden is planted! Now all you need is some sunshine (and patience!) as you wait for your warm weather plants to grow and produce healthy, tasty veggies for you to eat and share with those you love most!
Watch the video from the $10 Garden Series on my YouTube channel, “Transplanting Seedlings into Your Garden, Prepping and Amending Soil” so you know exactly what to do.
Comment below if you are transplanting your seedlings in your garden and let me know what you are especially excited about growing this spring. Happy Gardening!
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