When your seedlings are ready to be transplanted to your outdoor garden or container, there are a few steps to follow to ensure the transplant is successful.
1. First begin hardening off your seedlings. 'Hardening off' is the process of gradually introducing your seedlings to outdoor temperatures, sun and weather over at least a one week period. You'll begin by putting your seedlings outdoors in protected shade for 1 hour. Each day increase the time spent outdoors by about an hour and gradually move them from shade to sun (unless they are a shade loving plant). After a week of this the seedlings are ready to be moved to their new home outdoors.
2. Chose an early morning, preferably on an overcast day, for transplanting. Water your seedlings about 2 hours before you plan to transplant them. This makes your plants stronger and more resilient to the move, and it also moistens and loosens the soil so it can break apart easily, which is very important.
3. Bring seedings to their new outdoor garden location. Place seedlings in the ground at a slightly lower depth than they were growing in their pots. If seedlings are leggy or you have tomato seedlings, bury a good portion of the main stem, leaving the leaves above the soil. Firmly tamp the soil around the newly planted seedlings. Water seedlings well.
If you need help setting up your new garden space, here are links to a few useful articles: