Mindy McIntosh-Shetter AKA Mindar the gardening gnome and guest blogger is back! Mindy has a graduate degree in Agriculture Education from Purdue University and is presently finishing her Masters from the University of Louisville in Environmental Education and Urban Planning.She shares with us below how to transplant your seedlings.
Seedling Transplanting-The Next Step in Seed Propagation
by Mindy McIntosh-Shetter
Moving seeds once they germinate to a new home can be challenging process. The little plants can easily be broken off if not handled gently and correctly. But there are a few guidelines one can follow to make this process easier and make you a more successful gardener.
The first of these guidelines is to know when to transplant. Many beginning gardeners jump on the transplanting garden cart and begin to transplant too soon. They feel that it is time to transplant as soon as their seeds poke their little green heads above ground and produce one set of leaves. If you are one of these gardeners, do not transplant now. The first set of leaves are the first leaves that will produce food for the seedling. As soon as the first set of true leaves appear, these “baby” leaves will die and fall off. Transplanting at this stage can cause root damage, stem damage, plant stress and death. The best time to transplant is when two sets of true leaves have appeared on the plant.
The second guideline is to know what to transplant into and how to prepare that material. Seedling transplants can be placed in two different types of containers. The first type of container is normally a temporary container that in a few weeks is going to be upsized before the plant is planted in the garden. The second type of container is the container that the plant will be in until it goes to the garden space. There are pros and cons to each approach but which container you choose should be determined by your growing space and how long you have until the plant will be placed in the garden.