In Ballybeg Greens at this time of year we have lots of little transplants ready to go out for planting into new beds. These transplants are generally sown into modules or containers and germinated on a heated bench indoors where they grow till they are ready to plant out.
Prior to planting out the seedlings need to be hardened off. Hardening off gets the plants used to the variable temperatures that can occur outside. To do this, leave plants outdoors during the day and bring back in during the night. Hardening off is important with most salad crops as these crops are a softer leafy crop which don’t respond well to dramatic changes in temperature. Most plants transplant well. However carrots, parsnips, potatoes and a few others prefer to be planted directly to the area that they will mature in.
Before transplanting, water the seedlings to ensure the compost is damp but not soaked. Plant into a bed that is weed free, stone free and free draining. Plant the seedlings in to a trench or a hole made using a dibber. Water well after transplanting. If planted outdoors and frost is still occurring, a fleece or straw should be used around plants to prevent frost damage.
Head Grower, Jack Cashman