How to Transplant Seedlings
You have pampered your baby seedlings indoors, painstakingly giving them
water, nutrients and as much sunlight as you possibly could. You took them
on the deck on warm, sunny days, and brought them indoors on cold nights.
Finally, the last frost date in your area has just past. Your healthy, vigorous
seedlings are ready to "move out", and cozy into their summer home. You want
to do so, while avoiding transplant shock, which can slow down the growth
of your plants.
So, its time to review Seedling Transplanting Basics..............
Let's start with a quick overview of what causes transplanting shock:
Disturbing and damaging roots, as you plant your seedling. Tiny feeder roots
are easily broken.
Cold temperatures. Your young plants were cozy indoors or in a hot house
or greenhouse. Freezing weather may kill them. And, cold weather can stunt
their growth. Hopefully, you have been
hardening off your seedlings.
Dry or wet soils. Young seedling, needs moist soil. If wet spring weather
has left your soil soggy, allow excess water to drain a bit, before declaring
today as "Transplanting Day". You may also want to raise the garden soil
a little, to help excess water to drain off.
Hot sunlight can cause your young transplants to wilt, especially if their
roots have been disturbed.
How to Transplant Seedlings:
Prepare the garden in advance of transplanting day.
Mix ample amounts of compost and peat moss
into the soil. About Peat Moss
Check soil pH. Adjust, as needed. See soil pH
Transplant frost-sensitive seedlings after the last frost date in your area.
Cold weather can slow the growth of your plants. If cold weather is still
forecasted, hold off transplanting for a day or so.
Select a cool, cloudy day. Hot sunshine, warm temperatures, and dry winds,
can temporarily wilt transplants. If you can't wait, provide shade cover
for a day or two.
Dig a hole twice the size of the roots. Set the roots into the hole. If you
are using peat pots, just set the pot right inside of the hole. The
roots will be completely undisturbed, and will quickly and easily penetrate
the pots and grow into the garden soil.
If you are using plastic pots, loosen the soil around the inside of the pot
with a knife. Then, very gently remove the roots from the pot.
Fill in the planting hole with a combination of garden soil, compost and
Press down ever so gently, but be careful not to stress or damage the roots.
Sprinkle a light application of fertilizer around the plant. Or, water with
Water the plant thoroughly. Then, keep the soil moist for several days, to
help the roots to re-develop.
Peat pots are organic, as they are made from peat. Peat is compressed
into round or square pots of varying sizes, from 2 -1/2 inches to 5 inches
in diameter. The peat pots are organic and porous, yet strong enough to hold
seed starting soil and your favorite, young seedlings. At planting
time, transplant seedling in the pot right into the garden, minimizing transplant
shock. Roots will easily grow through the pots.
Buy Peat Pots
Did You Know? Jiffy was the first company to produce peat pots, beginning
in the early 1950's.
Peat pellets - are compressed peat held together in a string-like
netting. Add water and it expands. Peat pellets are popular for their ease
of use. They also minimize transplant shock. While it is made from peat,
peat pellets are not completely organic. They have a small charge of fertilizer
in them. The netting is made of nylon, cornstarch and cotton.
About Peatlands and Peat Bogs
About Peat Moss
Seed Starter Supplies - seed what's out on
the market, to help get your indoor seedlings off to a great start.
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