Transplanting Seedlings

April 12, 2022

By Rick Bogusch, Kathleen Kennedy

Bridge Gardens

Vegetable gardening seems to be America’s new favorite pastime. Getting seeds started is the beginning and knowing how and when to transplant seedlings is your next step.

Once seedlings have true leaves, and daytime temperatures are at least in the 40s, you can begin to bring your trays or pots of seedlings outdoors to “harden them off” or get them used to being outdoors. Instead of placing them immediately into full sun, start in shade and then move them into sun for a couple of hours, gradually increasing the amount of sun and time they are outdoors. This gets the seedlings acclimated to outdoor temperatures.

Before you sow the seedlings, think about other plants that you are going to grow near them, so shade from taller vegetables like tomatoes, eggplants, and pole beans doesn’t affect shorter vegetables like spinach, lettuce greens, and carrots. The timing for sowing seeds is also very important. When soil temperature reaches a steady 40 degrees, sow cool weather crops like spinach, cabbage, arugula, and leeks. As soil temperature warms, towards the end of April – early May, warm-loving crops like tomatoes, eggplant, and carrots can be direct sown into the vegetable garden.

In this video with Garden Director Rick Bogusch, hear his technique for sowing cabbage, a variety called Murdoc, started indoors in February. From laying out the rows, spacing, and planting depth to use of organic fertilizers and fish emulsion, you’ll hear Rick’s tips for a successful vegetable garden that will have your family and friends waiting at the gate for your over-abundance.

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