Planting Seedlings Outdoor - 29. April 2021

Whether you grow your own seedlings or buy them, from mid-May, you can plant them in the garden, either in the open air or in a greenhouse. Follow these useful tips to help them develop well:

Choose the perfect moment

It is essential to regularly check the condition of your seedlings:

  • Size: the larger a plant, the more water and nutrients it needs. A pot can quickly become too small and hinder the plant’s healthy development
  • Roots: By holding the seedlings upside down, you can gently remove the pot. If the roots wrap around a lump of soil several times, this indicates a lack of space
  • Leaves: If the leaves are matte or yellowing and curling, this may mean a lack of nutrients
  • Soil: In general, commercial soil contains enough nutrients for 6-8 weeks. Beyond that, there may not be enough

If several of these symptoms are present, the plant should be re-potted in a larger pot, or planted in the garden, if conditions allow.

Plan ahead to ensure you are well prepared

  • Each plant has its needs. Check the instructions on the back of the seed bag
  • Schedule: Most seedlings cannot withstand the cold and are only planted after mid-May
  • Check the weather forecast: Ideally, do not choose a day that is too hot or too cold, with an overcast sky. This way, your seedlings will not suffer from shock. If there is a drop in temperature, it is best to keep the plants warm for a few days. The famous Ice Saints (11th - 15th May) are a good indication: tomatoes, cucurbits, peppers are not planted before this time
  • Choose a protected place in your garden. Most of these plants do not like the wind and enjoy some shelter from the rain (e.g. greenhouse, roof)
  • Be sure to regularly water your plants for the next few days. Your seedlings must first form new roots to be independent
  • Prepare the soil lightly and add compost if necessary

Planting

It's D-Day!

  • Dig a hole at least as large as the pot. Most seedlings are planted so that the beginning of the stem is at the same height as the ground. Tomatoes can be planted deep enough, and roots will grow on the buried part of the stem.
  • For tomatoes: Place a few good handfuls of nettle leaves at the bottom of the hole, as they will serve as fertiliser and will strengthen the plant
  • Hold the seedling upside down and carefully remove the pot. Be careful not to damage the roots!
  • Place the seedling at the bottom of the hole and fill up to the soil’s surface
  • Press lightly
  • Ensure plenty of watering for the next few days. If it is cold, cover it with a non-woven fabric.