Yesterday, we shared several helpful tips for transplanting. Here are the next things you should do to help your seedlings grow strong.
Transplanting for Beginners
Remove the Start
The next steps to transplanting are pretty much the same no matter where you plan to plant your plants. Gently take your start out of its container with a small spoon. If it looks like the roots have started to spin around themselves and are very dense, you may have root bound plants. Root bound plants can be easily fixed by gently tugging on the root ball until the rootstock is free and ready to grow in all directions.
Cover the Roots
Place your starts in the hole you have prepared. Cover the roots in soil just up to where the roots turn into stem. A lot of plants, such as tomatoes, peppers, and lettuce, will actually enjoy having their necks covered with soil. Just make sure you don’t cover any of the leaves.
Pack the Soil
Gently pack down the soil around your newly planted start so that the stem sticks upright and straight. Add a trellis for vines or a support stick for plants that need them (tomatoes and peppers both prefer some support to grow).
Give them Lots of Water
The last and most important step to transplanting starts is to water them. Newly transplanted roots will not grow until all of the small air pockets in the soil have been fully saturated. Your plants will be in sort of a shock at this point so gently soak the soil all around the roots. Some plants will hate getting their leaves wet, so set up drip irrigation or any other form of irrigation that will only water the soil.
Now that you have successfully transplanted your starts, you are well on your way to healthy fruits and vegetables. Don’t let the little guys dry out and make sure weeds don’t invade their territory and you will be fine! Happy growing!
Photos: Andrea Parrish-Geyer
Jake Frazier is an outdoor enthusiast and the owner of Residential Ecology, a sustainable ecological resource management company. He uses existing natural systems to improve the quality of life for both humans and the Earth. Jake is interested in permaculture, living systems and exploring. Connect with him on LinkedIn.