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Transplanting Your Seedlings


If you started vegetable plants indoors from seeds, here is advice on transplanting your seedlings.

  • Check our Planting by the Moon’s Phase calendar.
  • Be sure the plants harden off; that is, gradually get used to unsheltered life outdoors.
  • During their last week indoors, withhold fertilizer and water less often.
  • 7 to 10 days before transplanting, set the seedlings outdoors in dappled shade that is protected from winds for a few hours each day, gradually increasing their exposure to full sun and windy conditions.
  • Keep the soil moist at all times during the hardening-off period. Dry air and spring breezes can result in rapid transpiration.
  • If possible, transplant on overcast days or in the early morning.
  • Set transplants into loose, well-aerated soil that will capture and retain moisture, drain well, and allow easy penetration by seedling roots. See when soil is ready for planting.
  • Soak the soil around new seedlings immediately after transplanting.
  • Spread mulch to reduce soil-moisture loss.
  • To ensure that phosphorus—which promotes strong root development—is available in the root zone of new transplants, mix two tablespoons of a 15-30-15 starter fertilizer into a gallon of water (one tablespoon for vining crops such as melons and cucumbers), and give each seedling a cup of the solution after transplanting.
  • Anything that raises soil temperature will help plants adjust to the shock of cold ground. Try raised planting beds and plastic mulch to boost soil temperature.


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3 responses

  1. Excellent information and I will be using this for my winter seedlings even though we don’t get anywhere NEAR as cold as you guys get 🙂

    April 22, 2014 at 7:45 pm

    • :)) thank you!

      April 22, 2014 at 8:01 pm

      • Welcome ma’am 🙂

        April 22, 2014 at 8:05 pm

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