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It’s almost time to get your young herb, fruit and veg seedlings outside. After the last chance of frost is gone, we can plant our seedlings in the kitchen garden. Although the season has started yet with indoor sowing, this is the time that gardening in the kitchen gardening gets more fun. If you’ve sown beans, lettuce, courgettes, tomatoes and strawberries inside, it’s now time to plant them in the ground. Here are the plants that are ready to go outdoors. Read our kitchen garden guide and continue growing vegs, fruit and herbs outside.

When to transplant seedlings

When you’ve started growing vegs, fruit and herbs indoors from mid-May, it’s time to transplant them. First, you transplant your seedlings to a larger container. Dig out the seedling, shake off all of the soil around the roots and place it in the larger container filled with potting mix. Water the transplant right away. About ten days before the seedlings are ready to go outside, harden them off. Hardening off seedlings helps them to withstand bright sun and cooler temperatures. Stop fertilizing your seedlings and place them outdoors to get used to the bright light (don’t do this when you have shade-loving seedlings).

Seedlings - Rushfields

How to transplant seedlings

The common question is, ‘How do I know when my seedlings are big enough to plant out in my garden?’ There is no rule of thumb or no hard and fast rule to how tall a plant should be. All different herbs, vegs and fruit have different heights. The amount of light influences the growth as well. The best way to judge whether a seedling is large enough to plant out in the garden is to look at the number of true leaves.

The first leaves that appear after you’ve sown the seed are the cotyledons. True leaves grow shortly after the cotyledons. When a seedling has three or four true leaves, it’s large enough to go outside. When your seedling reaches at least three to four true leaves, you can harden it off and plant it out in the ground.

Harden off seedlings

One to two weeks before you want to plant your seedlings in their permanent homes outdoors, start bringing them outdoors to acclimate. Hardening off seedlings is like preparing your young sprouts for the harsher environment outdoors. To help them build up a defence, you should expose your seedlings to bright light and temperature differences.

  • Place your seedlings in a semi-shady position for a few hours a day
  • Make sure you protect your seedlings from the wind since they have experienced indoor conditions only.
  • Be sure to take your seedlings in every night.
  • Slowly build up the amount of sunlight and hours of outdoor time each day.
  • Move your seedlings to a more sunny spot in the garden up until they have been outside for at least six hours in full sun.
  • Now they’re ready to be planted out in the ground.

Don’t take the importance of hardening off your seedlings for granted. This will help them establish a strong root system and thrive outside. This whole process should take just a little longer than one week. Good luck!

Seedlings - Rushfields

Plant out herb seedlings

Herbs are extremely easy to grow in the garden. Even if you don’t have a green thumb, you will enjoy growing herbs with the warm sun on your back. Herbs don’t care about soil type, how much sunlight they get or any waterings. The only thing you should look out for is to pick the leaves if they’re ripe. Herb leaves are ready to eat if you find the size good enough. As soon as the stems start to grow leaves, it has their lovely taste. Herbs spread a lovely scent, too. So, what are you waiting for? Get started with these 5 easy herbs:

  • Basil (sow basil seeds directly in the ground when the soil has warmed sufficiently and nights are staying consistently warm in the spring)
  • Dill (low-maintenance herb, sow directly in the ground, dill doesn’t like to be transplanted)
  • Oregano (comes back year after year and doesn’t need much water)
  • Parsley (takes a long time to germinate, so start growing indoors about 6-8 weeks before you plan to transplant them outdoors)
  • Rosemary (firstly grown indoors and then transplanted outdoors after the danger of frost has passed)

Transplant veg seedlings

Have you started growing seedlings indoors yet? No? This is probably your last chance of sowing Brussels sprouts if you want them ready by the end of the year. Also, cauliflowers and cabbage need to be sown indoor by now. Some veg seedlings are ready to be planted out just when the danger of frost is over. Plant out these seedlings to continue strong growth:

  • Courgette
  • Pumpkin
  • Peas
  • Cabbage
  • Brocolli
  • Kale
  • Sprouts

Rushfields Plant Centre seedlings

Visit our garden centre for all that’s needed to plant out seedlings. We have seed trays, potting soil, containers, watering cans, fertilizers. Come and visit our garden centre and get started by hardening off and transplanting your seedlings. Well, look after your plants and care for them to maintain a lovely harvest in Summer. If you have any questions regarding your seedlings, don’t hesitate to ask our friendly staff. They’re always smiling and always willing to help.