Jump-Start Spring: Transplanting from Indoors to Outdoors

Get a jump-start on spring by starting seeds in your verdeGarden, and then transplanting them either into pots, or into your outdoor garden once outside temperatures are warm enough. 

This should only be done with seedlings and young plants at the beginning of the vegetative growth stage. Older plants and plants showing buds should be left in the verdeGarden, so as to not disrupt their growing or fruiting cycle. 

To do so, transfer the coco coir and plant into a clean pot with potting soil, then water. Keep the transplant slighly moist to help the roots take to their new environment.

What You'll Need

  • Good quality potting soil 
  • Small trowel 
  • Small to medium clean pot(s)
  • Additional coco coir seed pucks (optional)

Transplanting Seedlings

If you want to transplant all the seedlings in a single coco coir puck then you will need to remove all but one seedling, leave the largest one in the coco coir. This is because the plants will need space for their roots to grow and seek out nutrients in soil; whereas, the indoor garden transports nutrients to the roots so they need less room. Loosen the coir by gently rolling the puck between your fingers and thumb, gently pluck out the seedlings, being careful not to damage the roots. If you do not intend to keep the removed seedlings, then you may simply trim them off at the base with clean shears. 

The coco coir is great for retaining water and nutrients, which means less frequent watering and healthy plants. You can expand additional coco coir seed pucks for the removed seedlings and place one in each puck, or transfer directly into soil. Bury at a similar depth as they were before. 

Each seedling can then be transplanted into its own small pot with potting soil. If you want the plant to grow larger before transplant, then remove the unwanted seedlings, leaving the largest, most viable plant in the coco coir.

Pictured below, several Swiss Chard seedlings with cotyledons. Options for transplant:

a) Remove all but largest seedling and allow it to grow (another 2-3 weeks) before planting in a pot with potting soil, or

b) Loosen the coco coir and carefully remove all but the largest seedling from the coco coir, be careful to not damage the roots. Expand additional coco coir pucks (optional) in warm water, one for each seedling, and then plant each in its own pot with potting soil. Or direct sow seedlings into potting soil without the coir puck. 

c) Some seedlings may not need thinning. Follow outdoor garden seed reccomendations for plant spacing. 

Transplanting plants from your indoor garden outside


Hardening Off 

Leave the transplants indoors for a week while the plants adapt to the soil. Place in a window with some sunlight, but not direct or too intense, while the plant adapts to its new soild environment. Keep soil moist, but do not oversaturate it. 

After a week, if the plants are looking healthy you can start to harden them off by moving the pots outside during the day, and bring indoors in the evening. Some sunlight is reccomended, but not too intense as again the plants are adpating to their new outdoor environment. Bring plants indoors, especially if night time temperatures are cool/quite different from day-time temperatures.

Get a jump-start on spring using your indoor garden to start seedlings and then transplant outdoors


Greens such as kale, lettuce and swiss chard can tolerate colder and wetter temperatures, while tomatoes, peppers and most herbs will require hotter and drier temperatures for hardening off, and be more sensetive to cool overnights. 

From Pot to Outdoor Garden

If the plant is healthy and showing no signs of shock after hardening off, and you have progressed to it leaving outside for several nights, you can now transfer it into your outdoor veggie garden, or transplant into a larger pot. 

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