Step 8 - Keep an eye on your plants:
Consider using fungicides to prevent “damping off” (which is the rotting of seedlings) often occurring early in seed germination and can be used shortly after planting to avoid disappointment and achieve the best possible results. As soon as seedlings begin to emerge, remove the “Jiffy Heat Mat’ from under the greenhouse and take off the plastic dome. Make sure to keep the seedling mixture moist but not wet. Seedlings can die if the soil becomes dry, even for a short time. Consider using a grow light to aid in providing light for stronger and healthier plants. When seedlings produce their second set of leaves, fertilize with a plant starting fertilizer at one-quarter its strength once a week.
Step 9 - Outdoor prep + frost date:
Prepare plants for outdoor temperatures by gradually hardening off young plants about a week before their transplant date. Placing them outdoors in a sheltered, shady area for a few hours and then gradually place in more sunlight as the week progresses. Be sure to bring indoors at night and keep well-watered to avoid drying out. Once the frost date has passed, transplant young plants into the garden by preparing garden soil and digging a hole for each plant that is wide and deep enough for roots to spread. Jiffy Pots and Jiffy Peat Pellets can be planted directly into the soil. Note that the root-ball can be gently broken apart to allow the roots to easily and quickly spread into the soil. After planting, gently pack the soil around the plant making sure the roots are firmly covered.
Step 10 – On-going plant care:
For better results consider transplanting on a cloudy or cooler day or in the evening to give the young transplant time to acclimatize to the new soil. Plants need continual moisture and nourishment to grow to their full potential and remain healthy. Fertilize regularly to encourage the best results from your plants. Consider the addition of organic matter such as peat moss or compost to improve the soil’s nutrient levels.