Transplanting is an important part of gardening that gives plants the space they need to grow. Learn how to transplant successfully with these simple tips.
Moving a seedling or grown plant to a new place is called transplanting. It can be planting a potted plant in the garden or moving a plant from one place in the garden to another. Before you move seedlings outside, though, you need to harden them off, which means getting them used to being outside in bright light, colder weather, and wind. You do this by putting the plants out for a little bit each day, starting in a shady spot. Why start in the shade?
Because Plants Get Sunburned, Too
When spring comes and I spend more time in my garden, I have to wear sunscreen or I get a sunburn. Plants can get sunburned, too, especially ones that have been indoors, where the light is not as strong. Often the nice green tomato plants I start in the house sunburn quickly. Even plants that like a lot of light need to start off in a shady spot so that they can get used to it. How do you know if your plant is sunburned? You won’t notice it right away, but after a day or two, the leaves get whitish splotches on them.
Gardening Vocabulary: Learn Some New Terms!
HARDEN OFF. The way you get a plant used to being outside in bright light, colder weather, and wind. You do this by putting the plants out for a little bit each day, starting in a shady spot.
TRANSPLANT. To move a plant. It can be from one pot to a bigger pot, or from a pot into the garden. It can also mean to move a plant from one place in the garden to another.
Here are some transplanting tips:
Dig a good hole.
Loosen the soil and dig a hole about the same depth as the pot, but a bit bigger all around to give the roots room to grow.
Pop out the plant.
Before you pull your plant out of the pot, bang the pot gently on the ground or run an old butter knife around the inside to loosen the roots. You don’t want to pull out the plant and leave most of the roots behind!
Fill in the hole.
Put the plant in the hole and fill in around it with dirt. Press the soil down, but not too hard — you don’t want to damage the roots.
Water a lot.
Newly planted seedlings and plants need extra water, so don’t forget them after the first couple of times.