How To Transplant Seedlings

Gardening is an activity that many find therapeutic and fun. Aside from transforming your boring lawn into a spectacular garden, planting does come with plenty of benefits!  One, you get to do your share to help preserve nature and two, it allows you to save on local produce by growing out your own!

Are you interested to replant seedlings such as fruits or vegetables? Or, do you simply want to try your hand at replanting flower seeds? If so, then read on to find out how.

  • Check the seeds. Plants have different needs. Some of them require constant care and maintenance while some of them do not. A tomato seedling, for example, requires heat while a cabbage seedling does not. To be on the safe side, it is best to review each seed that you want to plant and plan your transplanting activity around springtime. Once you get a clear idea on what plant to get, visit your local nursery and buy the seed that you want.
  • Preparing the seedlings. Seedlings bought from nurseries are easier to transplant than those that are homegrown. For one thing, nursery-bought seedlings come with instructions as to when they should be planted. However, for homegrown seedlings, it can be a bit complicated. In both cases though, it is extremely important to know when you can replant them. This is because, in order for the seeds to grow well, they must first be conditioned enough to adjust to the environment of their new home. Replanting them too early may result to death while putting it off to a later date might make replanting no longer possible. Truly, perfect timing must be achieved. One good way of knowing if your seedlings are ready for transplant is by checking their leaves—or more specifically, their true leaves. True leaves are leaves that are bright green and signal that photosynthesis has already taken effect. Check for at least 3-4 pieces of true leaves to guarantee that your seedlings are ready for transplant. It will also mean that the seedlings are ready to be “hardened off.”  “Harden off” is a process wherein you take the seedlings out to allow them to bask in the sunlight for a specific period of time. You start by putting them out in a well-shaded area during the day and putting them inside during night time. Three days after, you can increase its exposure to sunlight by taking them to a well-lit area for half of the day and taking them back in for the remaining half. Do this for five more days and by the end of the week, you can finally leave them outside.
  • Transplanting seedlings. Once the seedlings have been successfully hardened off, you can now replant them. Find a good area for them—meaning, an area that is well-ventilated, fertilized and drained. Prepare the soil by adding it with about 15 inches thick of compost. Once done, water the soil until completely drenched. Get the seedlings and prepare them as well by watering each seedling separately. Take one seedling at a time and remove it from its container by tapping the bottom until it budges. Gently comb its roots with the use of your fingers to loosen any knots out. Once finished, dig a hole that is twice the size of the root and place the seedling inside. Fill the hole and press down to keep ground firm. Resume replanting other seedlings about 2-3 feet apart. Finish off by watering them generously.

Congratulations on your new plant bed!  Just remember that seedlings are fragile and utmost attention should be given to them. Cover them up with paper cups during harsh season to protect them. Always be patient and prepare to be mesmerized once you see them grow so well!


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