The Q&A Archives: Transplanting Plants Started Indoors

Question: How do you transplant vegetables that were started indoors? I planted seeds in early March and grew them under fluorescent bulbs in the basement.

Answer: First, "harden them off" by setting outside for a few hours per day in a sheltered location, gradually increasing the time over a period of 7-10 days. This helps reduce transplant shock. Then, dig holes that are the same depth as the plant is in its container and twice as wide. The plant should be at the same depth as it was growing: not deeper or higher. Have the hole dug before taking the plant out of its pot to minimize the root system's exposure to sun and air. Lightly tamp soil down around the plant and water in well immediately. Keep soil moist around transplants for a week or two until root systems can establish. Good luck!

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