Gardening is all about timing and sometimes luck, but mostly timing. There is a general schedule of growing that gardeners may choose to follow. If you are late to any growing season, don’t fret, you can catch up by transplanting seedlings into any garden.
Seedlings are young plants grown from seed in small containers. These small containers are usually referred to as a “6-pack” because of the 6 individual growing areas for 6 seedlings. There are also “12-packs” or just a lonely “1-pack.”
Planting from seedling transplants has many benefits like extending your growing season, you don’t have to take time to grow from seed, you can pick out the best of the best plants and if you have too many you can share with your others.
How to pick out good seedlings for transplanting:
- Smaller seedlings develop stronger roots quicker.
- Don’t choose the largest/tallest, aka spindly, it may be past its prime.
- Make sure leaves/stem are intact and are correct color.
- Look to see if roots are coming out the drainage holes, this is called root bound so move on to the next seedling.
How to transplant seedlings:
- Dig hole the same depth of the soil level in the seedling container.
- Loosen up seedling from container by gently squeezing and pushing the sides of the root ball, the portion with the soil containing the roots.
- Turn container over and use gravity to slide the entire seedling out, including root ball.
- Always handle by root ball or leaves, never by stems. If stem is broken, plant may be lost.
- Plant seedling at same soil level it was grown. Only exceptions are tomatoes and sometimes peppers.
- Fill soil in and around the root ball using soil from garden and leftover from seedling container and pat lightly.
- Water in right after planting.
- Transplant in the late afternoon or early evening to avoid the direct sun, especially in warmer seasons.
Watch it done here:
Check out these ideas for cheap seedling containers once you are ready to grow from seed.
Happy transplanting! – GreenUp! Guy