You can grow your entire garden from seeds!
One of the many benefits of growing plants hydroponically is the rate at which they grow. Due to the constant supply of nutrient rich water, plants are able to develop much faster. This means you can start from seed and have a well established plant much sooner than you would when starting from scratch growing directly in soil. No need to worry about changing weather conditions or garden pest looking for a seedling snack.
Below are some tips on how to acclimate and transplant your plants from hydroponic growing conditions to growing in soil whether in a pot or in the ground.
1. Prepare the Roots: After taking the plant out of your hydroponic system, trim back the roots a good 2 inches. The smaller, fibrous roots will die off in the soil anyways so it is best to remove them before they start to decay in the soil, which could lead to the spreading of root rot.
2. Consider Heat and Light Exposure: Most likely, your plants growing hydroponically were located in an air conditioned space. When transitioning your plants to growing in the soil, make sure to choose a location that will not harbor excessive heat at first. If you plan to grow the plants in a full sun or very hot location eventually, slowly expose the plant to more heat and sun little by little every week until the plant acclimates and shows no sign of stress (wilting leaves or burned leaves). This same rule is applied when it comes to acclimating your plants to more intense light then their previous growing conditions.
3. Water, Water, Water, Feed, Drain: Plants that are growing in a hydroponic system rely heavily on the constant supply of nutrient rich water. When you place these plants in the ground or in a pot full of soil, they need to grow new roots to adjust to these different conditions. After first transplanting your plants into soil, water them deeply every day and slowly decrease the amount of watering throughout the next 2-3 weeks. Fertilize your newly transplanted plant within the first week of transplanting. This will ensure your plant still has access to the nutrients it was accustomed to receiving. Make sure that the ground or the pot you have the newly planted plants in drains well, as this will decrease the chances of root rot or fungus growth.
By starting off plants like peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, melons, and herbs in your hydroponic system first, it allows them to get a head start growing strong and healthy (due to the constant supply of water and nutrients). Once they acclimate to being in soil they will continue to grow just as well!