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Step-by-Step Guide: Transplanting & Hardening Off Seedlings

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If your seedlings have been raised indoors, they will need to be “hardened off” before transplanting. This is a process of acclimating them to the intense outdoor elements:

  1. Day 1: Put seedlings outside in a shady protected location for two hours

  2. Day 2-3: Gradually increase time outside in gentle places but not extreme conditions or direct sunlight

  3. Day 4-7: leave seedlings in the sun for progressively longer periods of time. 

  4. Day 7: After one week they should be ready to transplant. 


  1. Water plants and planting area 2 hours before transplanting

  2. In the hot season, always transplant at night and in the cold season always transplant in the morning.

  3. Planting hole should be as deep as plant and a few inches wider

  4. To remove the plant from the container tip on its side and into your hand to try and keep as much of the soil tightly around the root as possible. 

  5. Set in the hole and press soil in around it. Soak soil around it. 

  6. Mulch immediately but leave a little space around the stem. 

  7. Protect young seedlings from critters with a cloche or food protector. Young plants are the most vulnerable, especially leafy greens. 

  8. Check the plants regularly right after transplanting. Pay attention to the weather! 

  9. Water daily for a few weeks as the plant becomes established.

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