Choose a still, overcast day to protect the young plants from the drying effects of sun and wind. Before transplanting, water the seedlings in their pots.
Dig holes in the garden wide and deep enough to generously accommodate each young plant, adding a handful of compost to the bottom. Fill the holes with water, allowing them to drain completely before planting the seedlings.
Gently remove the young plants from their pots or cell packs (gently tease out the bottoms of dense rootballs to encourage them to spread out). Set seedlings in the planting holes so their crowns sit level with the ground – not too high and not too low. Once planted, water the seedlings with a transplant solution, such as 5-15-5 or liquid kelp, according the package directions.
Mulch the soil around each plant with shredded bark, compost or leaf mould to conserve moisture and help suppress weeds. Water plants when the upper three centimetres of soil becomes dry.
If a sudden cold snap threatens, protect transplants with cloches, upturned bushel baskets, floating row covers or blankets.
With a little care and patience, your seedlings will grow into strong, healthy plants for you to enjoy all season long.