How to Plant a Garden After Starting Seeds Indoors

How to Plant a Garden After Starting Seeds Indoors

After starting seeds indoors and hardening off seedlings, it’s time to get them in the ground. Whether you started flowers or vegetables indoors, learn how to plant a garden in 5 easy steps.

If you’ve been following along my seed starting journey, I’ve spent the last few weeks hardening off seedlings to prepare them for life in the garden.

Since the beginning, I’ve started over 1000 seedlings with great success.

In addition to hardening off plants, I’ve spent a lot of time preparing my garden to get them ready for my seed starts.

Did you start seeds indoors too?

If so, then you are ready to plant seedlings in the garden.

And if you are just planting annuals or other plants you picked up from the nursery, this process applies to them too.

Here’s how to do it.

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How to Plant a Garden After Starting Seeds Indoors

How to Plant a Garden After Starting Seeds Indoors

You started your seeds and hardened them off, now what?

It’s time to plant them!

Supplies Needed

  • Seedlings
  • Garden Trowel
  • Garden Gloves
  • Kneeling Pad
  • Garden Soil
  • Compost
Garden Shed Makeover
The shed garden will house several of my new seed starts in a quaint cottage garden. To see the makeover, click here.

Step 1 – Prepare the Garden

If you already have a garden that’s ready to go, move on to Step 2.

If you do not have a garden, there are two ways to start a garden.

You can start a new garden this way.

Or you can start a garden the easy way depending on what you are growing.

Since I’ve been gardening my property for well over 20 years, my soil here is really good.

I’ve been amending it with good quality garden soil, compost, leaf mold, and mulch that breaks down.

If you are working with rocky, sandy, or clay soil, you need to spend time preparing your bed with good quality garden soil and other amendments.

Because plant health and success starts with good, healthy soil.

For soil tips, click here.

How to Plant a Garden After Starting Seeds Indoors

Step 2 – Site Plants and Dig Hole

Design and site before starting.

I spend a lot of time doing this part because I love to play around with different plant combinations looking at foliage and blooms.

Since seedlings are relatively small, it’s best to use a garden trowel like this one.

If your soil is light and pliable, you may be able to move the soil with your hands and plant.

How to Plant a Garden
In the new shed garden, the soil is amazing! We raked out what’s been used in the raised beds and added some compost and leaf mold to further enrich the soil. When planting it, I used my hands to dig and plant in the soil.

This is one of the reasons I love to wear garden gloves while I work.

When I am working, I wear garden gloves to keep my hands clean and prevent them from getting blisters if I’m digging a lot.

I also always use a kneeling pad.

Kneeling pads are priceless when doing a lot of plantings because they keep your knees clean and prevent them from getting sore.

How to Plant a Garden After Starting Seeds Indoors

Step 3 – Amend the Hole

After digging the hole, amend the bottom of the hole with a mixture of garden soil and compost.

If you’ve already amended your soil when preparing the garden for planting, skip this step.

How to Plant a Garden After Starting Seeds Indoors

Step 4 – Gently Remove Seedlings from Cells and Pots

If you started seeds in cell trays or plastic pots, it’s important to gently remove them so you disturb the roots as little as possible.

Sometimes root growth is so strong and healthy, they begin to grow through the bottom of the pot.

Loosen them up and gently squeeze the plant out of the cell or pot.

How to Plant a Garden After Starting Seeds Indoors

Sometimes I use a small knife to help lift it out.

This is one of the reasons I love the biodegradable pots.

Because seedlings can be planted directly in the ground without disturbing any roots.

How to Plant a Garden After Starting Seeds Indoors

Step 5 – Planting Seedlings

It’s best to plant seedlings on a cloudy day.

And if light rain is predicted, even better.

Luckily in NJ, we get a lot of those in early spring around our last frost date before the weather gets too hot and sunny.

After removing seedlings from their container, gently place them in the ground and backfill the hole.

I like to mound up the soil a little to offer additional support while they get used to their new surroundings.

Water well if rain is not predicted.

Before and After Garden Shed Makeover

My Seed Starting Journey

Have you been following along?

I started over 1000 seeds indoors without a greenhouse.

The journey began several weeks ago and I’ve been sharing the progress along the way.

How to Plant a Garden After Starting Seeds Indoors
This gorgeous trellis is by H Potter. I am growing my sweet peas and nasturtiums up it. We added temporary fencing to keep the rabbits away while they establish and grow.

In case you missed anything or want to learn how to start seeds indoors without a greenhouse:

Want More Garden Tips and Tricks?

My good friend Kim from Shiplap and Shells has some great tips about how to cut back spring bulbs.

Spring Bulbs by Shiplap and Shells
Photo by Shiplap and Shells

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How to Plant a Garden After Starting Seeds Indoors
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  1. Stacy,
    Great post. You plants look much healthier than mine! All that I planted looked great until just before it was time to start planting! I hope the ones that survived will do ok. Your garden is going to be beautiful

    1. Thank you! I hope they do as well! Did you start hardening them off? I noticed my sweet peas weren’t thrilled towards the end of their indoor life – I had to get them outside. I’m not sure how they’ll do yet. They seem ok in the ground but haven’t grown much.

    1. You and me both!!! I am hoping they all take and bloom! I’m stuffing these in all over the place hahaha

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