Time To Transplant Seedlings Outdoors!
Once there is no more danger of frost in your area, it’s time to plant your seedlings outdoors! Whether you’re planting in containers or directly in the ground, you’ll still want to make sure there is no more chance of frost in your area.
One of the most important steps to ensuring your seedlings grow into healthy plants outdoors is to harden them off before you plant them. Hardening off is a gradual process where you acclimate your seedlings into the harsher sunlight and temperatures outdoors so they don’t get shocked from the different growing conditions:
Use a wheelbarrow or garden cart will be helpful in hardening off your seeds, bringing them outdoors for a few hours each day to get acclimated to outdoor temperatures.
How to Harden Off and Transplant Seedlings
- Starting with a mild day, bring your seedlings outside into dappled sunlight for 2-3 hours, making sure to protect them from harsh sun, cold temperatures, and extreme wind.
- Each day for about a week, you can add one more hour to the time your seedlings spend outdoors, while also gradually watering them less.
- After about a week of this, choose a mild day to plant your seedlings outdoors.
- Dig a hole about the size of your cell and make sure to plant the seedling at the same depth as it is in the cell.
- Apply a watered-down solution of organic fertilizer to your new plantings. Water thoroughly.
Your seedlings should be acclimated to the weather outside through the hardening off process and will start to take off in your garden beds or containers! Remember to keep the new plants watered regularly and keep an eye on them for the first few weeks. Once you’ve started seeds once, you’ll get the hang of it and many of your tools (including plastic trays, cells, and domes) can be used year after year. Simply wash them in a diluted water/bleach solution to disinfect before planting the next season.
Want to learn more about planting vegetable seeds indoors? Check out How To Start Vegetable Seeds Indoors