Prepare your garden bed in advance, digging it over and breaking up the soil to a depth of 6 to 10 inches. If you have soil amendments to add, such as well composted leaves or manure, till them in. A soil test can tell you if you need to add anything else to your soil. If you’re using a no-till method like lasagna gardening, this might be a good time to top up with a nice layer of compost. I like to dig up my garden a couple of weeks before planting out. Any weed seeds that come to the surface and germinate can be hoed up without disrupting my little plants.
Harden off your seedlings by exposing them gradually to outside conditions. Don’t skip over this step! Tender indoor seedlings planted directly out into the garden can get shocked enough to keel over and die. This also applies to seedlings and plants bought at a garden center, if they’ve been sheltered. See last week’s article, “Seed Starting 101: Hardening Off” for more information.
Move your mouse over each image for captions. pansy transplant being removed from