The moment you've been waiting for so long is finally here: your in-ground or raised bed is ready, you've hardened off your seedlings, and now it's time to transplant them outdoors! Use the following tips when transplanting to give your seedlings a better chance of survival.
Transplanting can shock plants a bit, so it is best to do it on an overcast, cool day. The soil should not be so damp that it forms clumps, so wait a few days after the most recent rainfall.
To transplant, you will need a trowel and gardening gloves, if you want them. When you are ready, follow these steps:
First, form a small mound of soil for each plant. The mound will improve drainage around the plant.
Next, dig a hole in the center of the mound that is slightly wider than the seedling's previous container. If you are transplanting tomato or pepper seedlings, you can dig the hole deeper than the container and bury part of the stem of the seedling, up to the lower set of true leaves. This will help the plant form a stronger root system. If you are transplanting any other vegetables or fruits, the hole should be the depth of the container.
To remove the seedling from the previous container, cradle the container's opening with one outstretched hand and flip the container upside down. Then use your other hand to gently squeeze the sides of the container until the seedling and soil ball slide out.
Holding the soil ball with both hands, carefully place the seedling into the hole you made.
Next, add soil all around seedling's roots and stem. Avoid creating gaps of air around the roots.
Add mulch around the seedling if you have it and insert a support stake for the plant into the soil if necessary. Lastly, give the seedling a good watering around its base to help the soil adjust!
It's tempting to think that once your seedlings are transplanted, you're home free. Unfortunately, tender seedlings are a beloved food of rabbits, deer, and other animals. They can devour your seedlings overnight if you leave them unprotected. For this reason, I highly recommend creating a physical barrier of some sort around your seedlings immediately after transplanting.
In addition to animals, your plants can be damaged or killed by a variety of diseases and pests such as slugs, beetles, and caterpillars. Once your seedlings are transplanted, check them for signs of damage daily! The sooner you identify what disease or pest is causing the damage, the sooner you can treat your plants!
As always, if you have any questions or advice to share, please comment below!
Your comment will be posted after it is approved.
Leave a Reply.