Have Patience when Transplanting from the Garden Greenhouse
Let’s face it, if you’re one of those people who finds joy in gardening, chances are that you face the same struggle year after year. As soon as the snow has melted and the ground is soft enough to turn over with a spade, you’re itching to get outside in the fresh air and help Mother Nature turn everything green again (or red, orange, blue, yellow and violet if you’re a flower gardener). Unfortunately, if you don’t show some restraint when transplanting from the garden greenhouse, much of your labor of love can be lost to a late frost or other adverse conditions.
Moving Greenhouse Plants
Moving plants form the greenhouse to your outdoor gardens isn’t particularly difficult, but it does take some know-how, an understanding of the growing seasons in your area, and yes (dare we say it?) some patience. Assuming you know how to prepare the soil and mix in the appropriate amounts of bone mulch or other quick draining soil mixture for transplanting your plants to the garden, the real question that bedevils many gardeners is, “When do I move the plants”?
The simple answer to this (for most plants) is “after the danger of frost has passed.” Unfortunately, nailing that down to a workable date is easier said than done. While we wouldn’t pretend to be able to give you a definitive answer for when you can stop worrying about frost, there are several things that you can do to help gauge when the danger is likely to be past.
Preparing Greenhouse Plants
When purchasing seeds, pay attention to the information on the back of the package. Generally speaking, you can look at the growing season map and tell when your area is considered safe for planting. Generally speaking, when it’s considered safe to plant from seed, you can transfer your seedlings from the greenhouse to the garden without too much concern for frost.
Many gardeners find it helpful to acclimate their plants slowly to life outside the greenhouse by leaving them in their pots or planters and setting them outside for an hour at a time during peak sunlight. If you do this, increase the time gradually until you are ready to transplant your seedlings to the outside garden permanently.
It is best to be prepared if for some reason, there is a ‘surprise’ late frost in your area after you have planted things outdoors. You can use frost blankets, sheets, newspaper or mulch to cover your plants and protect them temporarily. A mini greenhouse or cold frame can also be set over your garden area.
Remember that patience is a key to successful gardening, both outdoors and in the greenhouse. If you’re going to err when transplanting from the garden greenhouse, it’s better to wait a week too long than to transfer your seedlings a week too early. Be aware also that late frosts can occur, and often have a devastating effect on young plants. Know what your particular plants require in case of frost, and be prepared to cover seedlings in the event that a late frost is forecast.
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