How to Set Out Plants in Your Organic Garden

Get your organic plant seedlings into the ground the right way using these tips.

from The Canadian Illustrated Guide to Green Gardening

When your indoor-grown seedlings have been sufficiently hardened off, wait for a cloudy day to set them out in your organic garden. Do not rely on commercially grown seedlings being hardened off when you buy them. Remember that too much heat can wither a plant as quickly as dry soil.

How to Set Out Plants in Your Organic Garden© iStockphoto/Thinkstock

If no clouds are imminent, plant the seedlings in the late afternoon, and shade them with newspapers, bushel baskets or anything that will shield them from the sun’s rays but still let in a little air.

When you are ready to set out your plants, dig evenly spaced holes according to the directions for each vegetable. Fill the holes with water, and let it soak into the soil — this will give the roots of each plant sufficient moisture to make a good beginning.

If you are using peat pots, the plant can be set out in the pot, but be sure to slit its sides in two or three places to allow for root growth. Bury the pot completely in the ground, so that it will remain moist and disintegrate.

Plants grown in plastic pots or flats must be handled carefully. Remove or cut out each plant along with the soil that surrounds its roots. When setting these in the holes you have dug, make sure that the garden soil is pushed firmly but gently around the root balls. Leave a slight soil depression around each plant to collect and hold moisture, then water well.

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