Before transplanting your small sprouts from your AeroGarden to your soil beds outdoors, seedlings need to be hardened off. This means helping the plants get accustomed to strong sunlight, cold nights, and less watering over time. Skipping this step throws your seedlings into something they are not prepared for and will almost certainly result in some or all of your plants dying! Hardening off seedlings eases their transition from the AeroGarden to the outdoors, where they will be exposed to full sunlight, temperature variations and wind. Here are some tips on how to do it:
- Remove the Bowl with seedlings from the Base and place it outside in a shady location for a few hours each day, gradually increasing to 24 hours outside. This should take about a week. Too much direct sun will kill your seedlings, so be sure to pick a spot with shade.
- Bring the Bowl inside if weather turns bad or temperature is below 45°F (7.2°C).
- Return the Bowl to the AeroGarden Base when you bring the Bowl inside.
- If your seedlings get too large before weather will allow transplanting outdoors, transplant into small pots in a high quality potting mix such as Miracle-Gro All Purpose Potting Mix or Miracle-Gro Performance Organics Container Mix. Both of these options contain blends of high-quality ingredients that provide the correct mix of air, water, solid, and nutrients so you can be successful planting in containers. Keep them fully watered in a sunny space until weather permits transplanting outdoors.
- Once you've hardened your seedlings, simply dig a hole in the soil, remove the plant from the space in the seed starting tray, including the roots and grow sponge, and place it in the hole you just dug in the soil. Fill in the hole gently, surrounding the roots and the bottom of the stalk.
Below are videos all about the when, where, and how of transplanting and about what to do after. Give them a look!
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