The time has finally come – spring is near! And you know what that means…it’s time to move your plants outdoors. Depending on where you live, some of you may already be basking in the sun. While others may be anxiously awaiting the final melt of the snow. Either way, chances are you kept your plants indoors for the winter, safely snuggled in small pots. If you’re ready to make the transition, check out our tips on how to move your plants outdoors!
Prep the Environment
Plants can survive in the ground as long as the conditions are right. Be sure to look up your plant online to see what temperature, sunlight and water conditions it requires to determine whether moving it outdoors is the right move.
As a general rule, wait until you’re safely two to four weeks out from your last frost before starting to move your plants outdoors.
If you have the right conditions for your plant to thrive, you’ll need to properly prep the outdoor environment (and your plant) before making the switch.
To help your plant adjust to its new location, try setting the pot outside for a few days before replanting it in the ground. You may want to avoid placing the plant in direct sunlight right away. The outdoor sun is much stronger than the window sunlight your plant is used to, and if you make the transition too abruptly, it could cause your plant to go into shock.
After this transition period, get ready to start digging! Make sure the ground where you’re planting is dry (if it’s too wet, soil clumps can form and cause some problems for your plant’s growth). We also recommend adding in some compost or garden soil to provide more nutrients.
Chances are, digging is one of your kids’ favorite things about gardening. So pick up some kid-friendly gardening tools, and get them involved with the growing process!
When you or your kiddos are digging, make sure the hole is big enough to fit the entire plant and its roots. You may have to dig a wider or deeper hole to accommodate the root system.
Remove the Plant from the Pot
After the ground is prepped, it’s time to take the plant out of the pot.
This step can get a little tricky, but follow these tips for the most successful removal.
Place your hand around the base of the plant, right on top of the soil. With your other hand, grab the bottom of the pot and tip it over. With this method, you should be able to slide the plant and the soil out of the pot in one piece without causing any damage to the plant.
You may need to tap the bottom and/or sides of the pot to loosen the soil if the plant doesn’t seem to be sliding out.
Pro Tip: Never try to forcefully pull the plant out of the pot, as this can end up ripping part of the plant’s root system.
Re-plant into the Ground
Before you’re ready to pack your plant into the ground, make sure the roots are loose and pointing outward. It’s not uncommon for roots to start growing around the shape of the pot, but to correct this all you need to do is gently loosen up the tips of the roots with your fingers.
And now the fun part! Gently place the plant into the hole you’ve dug. Fill in the remainder of the area surrounding the plant with dry soil or potting mix. Pack it down lightly so that the plant is nice and snug in the ground.
Water it according to the plant’s watering requirements and continue to care for it accordingly.
Try putting your little gardener on watering duty, and watch their amazement as they see the plant grow over time! Click here to see the full line of Curious Gardener® kids gardening tools.