Hardening Off and Transplanting
We're finally making the turn into that good growing season weather!
Before diving into your raised beds, here are some tips to ensure all your seed starting work doesn't go to waste.
- Start moving your transplants outside gradually.
- About a week before you plan to transplant your seedlings, begin exposing them to the outdoors.
- Start with just a few hours of daily exposure, gradually increasing the amount of time over a week.
- Choose the right time of day.
- The best time to expose your seedlings to the outdoors is in the late afternoon or early evening when the sun is less intense, and temperatures are cooler.
- Choose the right weather.
- Avoid exposing your seedlings to extreme heat, cold, wind, or rain.
- Choose a mild, overcast day with temperatures between 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit to start.
- Protect your seedlings.
- During the first few days of exposure, keep your seedlings in a protected area such as a covered porch, under a tree, or in a cold frame to shield them from direct sun and wind.
- Gradually increase exposure.
- As your seedlings become more accustomed to the outdoors, gradually increase their exposure to direct sun and wind.
- Monitor your seedlings.
- Keep an eye on your seedlings for signs of stress or damage, such as wilting or sunscald.
- Be sure to water them regularly to prevent them from drying out.
- If necessary, move them back to a protected area or adjust their outdoor exposure.
Once your seedlings have been hardened off, they are ready to be transplanted into their new home in the garden.
- Choose the right time to transplant.
- The best time to transplant your seedlings is when they have grown their first true leaves.
- Prepare your raised bed.
- Make sure your raised bed is filled with enough Grow to cover the roots of your transplants.
- If you have a bed already full of soil, amend it with some Grow or Wendell to improve it's texture and fertility.
- Dig the planting holes.
- Use a trowel, garden fork, or your hands to dig holes in your raised bed that are deep and wide enough to accommodate the roots of your transplants.
- Space the holes according to the recommended spacing for the specific plants you are planting.
- Remove your seedlings from their containers.
- Remember to be gentle with this step to not damage the roots or stem.
- Plant your transplants.
- Place each transplant in the hole you dug, ensuring the top of the root ball is level with the soil surface.
- Fill in around the roots with Grow and gently press the soil down to eliminate any air pockets.
- Water your transplants.
- Give your newly transplanted vegetables a good drink of water to help settle the soil around the roots and reduce transplant shock.
- Top off with Wendell.
- Adding a layer of compost around your transplants will help conserve moisture, suppress weeds, and regulate soil temperature.
- Monitor and care for your transplants.
- Keep an eye on your transplants and water them as needed.
You are now ready for an abundant harvest ahead!