How To Transplant New Plants Into The Garden

Yesterday, I transplanted my beautiful pepper plants into the garden. I’m so pleased with how well they’ve grown! Hopefully they’ll like it in the raised bed. I haven’t had much luck growing peppers yet, and I got pretty ambitious with variety this year so I’m crossing my fingers and holding my breath.

When I first started gardening, I had no idea how to go about transplanting something. I was so afraid I was going to do it wrong. How do I get the plant out of the container without hurting it? Do I shake off the dirt before planting? How deep do I plant it?

There definitely are a few ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ things you can do. If you are just learning how to raise a garden, here’s what you need to know about transplanting…

Note: It’s best to do your transplanting either early in the morning, or later in the evening, when the sun isn’t at its full strength.

pepper plant

1. Be very careful when taking the plant out of its container. Don’t pull on the plant. Instead, use a plastic fork or something similar to gently lift the plant up and out from the bottom. It helps to get the soil wet before removing the plant, so the dirt stays together as you lift it out.

how to transplant seedlings

2. Do not shake the dirt away from the roots. Leave the root ball alone when transplanting. If the plant seems to be root-bound, meaning it has a thick mass of roots that seem to be wrapped around itself like a ball, you can gently loosen them up by pulling the roots apart just a little before transplanting.

transplanting plants

3. Dig a hole just large enough to put the plant in up to its soil line. Tomatoes can be planted deeper because they will grow roots along their stem, but most other plants need to be planted just as deeply as they were in their pots. If your soil is poor, add some compost to the hole before putting the plant in. Then fill in around the plant using good soil or compost, packing the dirt down firmly to make sure there aren’t air pockets around the roots.

pepper plants in raised bed

4. Water around the newly transplanted plants. Don’t poor water directly over the plants, but just around the base of the plant.

Mulching around your plants will help the soil retain moisture and keeps your plants from drying out too quickly. Straw and woodchips work very well.

That’s it! As long as you follow those basic 4 rules, your plants will be off to a great start.

Do you have any transplanting advice to add?

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6 thoughts on “How To Transplant New Plants Into The Garden”

  1. A great post! I’m still about 6 weeks away before I can plant out any tender plants, up here in Canada. In fact, we’re getting more snow here tomorrow!

  2. You’re so thorough and take nothing for granted when teaching. If you break the roots up a little, it stimulates the roots to grow. Most plants can take being handled, they’re not delicate. I grew one flower, can’t remember what it was, but just touching it to broke the stem. EVER SINGLE ONE OF THEM!!! lol

    I used to design the beds and grow the plants for a country club. I grew about 27,000 flowers for the golf course.

  3. Great advice and your peppers look great! I would like to add that since working in a greenhouse with a close friend of mine who taught me everything about gardening is that the seedlings are tougher than you think. They will survive quite a bit of abuse so don’t think that you will kill it/hurt it or stunt it’s growth too easily. As long as they have the room to grow, good soil, great light and enough water, your plants will continue to grow and yield much fruit/veggies. Have a wonderful day!


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