Top 10 Tips for Transplanting Seedlings Outdoors

Top 10 Tips for Transplanting Seedlings Outdoors

The main reason for transplanting seedlings outdoors is to provide them with more space and better growing conditions. Seedlings started indoors or in a greenhouse are typically grown in containers that are too small for them to reach their full potential. Transplanting them outdoors allows them to spread out their roots and grow larger, which can result in healthier, stronger plants that are better able to resist pests and diseases. Additionally, transplanting seedlings outdoors exposes them to natural light, wind and other outdoor conditions, which can help them to develop stronger stems and leaves. Follow our Top 10 Tips below and get growing!

Tip #1
Harden off seedlings

Before transplanting seedlings outdoors, it's important to gradually acclimate them to the outdoor environment. This process is called "hardening off" and helps prepare the seedlings for the shock of being exposed to the elements. Start by placing the seedlings in a shaded area outside for a few hours each day, gradually increasing the amount of time they spend outside over a period of one to two weeks. Begin by exposing them to mild temperatures, low wind conditions, and low light levels, then gradually increase exposure to higher light levels, wind, and temperatures.

Active grow seedlings hardening off.
Active grow seedling transplanting frost calendar.
Tip #2
Choose the right time

Timing is critical when it comes to transplanting seedlings. Transplant them when the weather is mild, typically in early spring or early fall. Avoid transplanting during periods of extreme heat or cold, as this can stress the plants. It's important to check the weather forecast before transplanting to ensure that the conditions are suitable for the plants.

Tip #3
Prepare the soil

Proper soil preparation is key to successful transplanting. Prepare the soil in advance by removing weeds and rocks and adding compost or other organic matter. This will provide the seedlings with the nutrients they need to grow strong and healthy. Additionally, if your soil is deficient in any particular nutrients, it's important to add appropriate fertilizers or amendments to ensure that the plants have the necessary nutrients to thrive.

Active grow prepare soil.
Active grow water soil.
Tip #4
Water the soil

Water the soil thoroughly before transplanting to ensure it is moist but not waterlogged. This will help prevent the roots from drying out during the transplanting process. It's also a good idea to water the seedlings a few hours before transplanting to make sure that they are well hydrated.

Tip #5
Dig holes

Dig a hole slightly larger than the size of the seedling's root ball and ensure that the hole is deep enough so that the entire root system can be buried. It's important to handle the soil carefully during this process, as compacted soil can impede root growth and limit the plant's ability to take up nutrients and water.

Active grow digging holes.
Active grow remove seedlings gently.
Tip #6
Gently remove seedlings

When removing seedlings from their containers, take care not to damage the roots. Gently loosen the roots if the seedlings are root-bound and make sure to handle them by the leaves or the root ball rather than pulling on the stem. Damaged roots can limit the plant's ability to take up nutrients and water and can also make the plant more susceptible to disease.

Tip #7
Plant seedlings

Place the seedling in the hole, making sure that the top of the root ball is level with the surrounding soil. Gently press the soil around the seedling to secure it in place. Be careful not to bury the stem too deeply, as this can cause the plant to rot.

Active grow plant seedlings.
Active grow watering transplanted seedlings.
Tip #8
Water thoroughly

Water the seedlings immediately after transplanting, and continue to water them regularly until they become established. It's important to water deeply and infrequently, rather than shallow watering. This encourages the roots to grow deeper into the soil and become more drought-resistant.

Tip #9
Provide shade

If the weather is hot and sunny, provide shade for the seedlings by using a shade cloth or other covering. This will help prevent the plants from wilting or getting sunburned. It's also a good idea to transplant seedlings in the late afternoon or early evening, as this can reduce the amount of stress they experience.

Active grow shade cloth.
Active grow plant pests aphids.
Tip #10
Monitor for pests

Keep an eye out for pests and diseases, and take appropriate action if necessary. Regularly inspect the seedlings for signs of damage or stress, and treat them accordingly. Using natural pest control methods such as companion planting, insecticidal soap or neem oil can help prevent pest problems before they start.