PRICKING OUT, POTTING UP, AND TRANSPLANTING
Why do we do it? We transplant young seedlings to individual containers in order to double or triple our supply of plants.
Trays of seedlings can be ‘pricked out’ (teased apart and transferred into their own pots) as soon as they’re large enough to handle. Most vegetable and herb seedlings are easy to prick out as long as you do it while they are young and have fewer than 5 leaves.
Below is a list of 15 vegetable plants that can be grown in seedling trays .and later transplanted
- Lady’s finger
Most of these plants will need to transferred into larger pots upon growth individually (one plant per pot) , while some can be transferred in groups (spinach and greens – 5-6 shoots per pot). All of these vegetables tend to grow in pots but will require pretty large once for a good yield. People with the fortune of a garden land are sure the blessed ones. The ideal space around a plant is 10inch for proper growth. If you are transplanting into pots be sure to pick pots 10inch or larger in size.
- Before you start pricking out, water the seedlings (about several hours prior).
- Prepare the potting soil. If the soil is cold from sitting outside, bring it indoors and give it time to come to room temperature.
- Prepare containers. Wash out plastic pots that have previously been used. When using paper cups or recycled containers like yogurt cups, poke at least 3 drainage holes in the bottom of each one.
- Partially fill containers with potting soil. Sprinkle enough moistened potting soil into the containers to fill them about one-half full
- Make holes in the potting mix with your finger or a pencil.
- Remove the seedlings. Work with small batches of seedlings at a time so their roots don’t dry out. Ease the seedlings out of the tray they were growing in then carefully separate them, retaining as much potting mix around the roots as possible.
- Push up on the bottom of the seedling container, and be ready to catch the root ball with your other hand. This is easiest if you can hold the container sideways or upside-down. Place the seedlings on a flat surface that is shaded from direct sun.
- Replant the seedlings. Lift each seedling carefully by a leaf (never the main stem) and gently feed the roots into the hole. Use a stick or pencil to help guide the lowest roots into the new container, but don’t worry if they spiral around a bit. Still holding the seedling with one hand, sprinkle moist potting soil around the roots until the proper planting depth is achieved.
- Firm the seedling in. If the seedlings are looking a little stretched it’s okay to bury some of the stem to help to support them.
- Keep the newly potted plants in shady area. To give new roots time to grow, wait at least three days before moving the pricked-out seedlings to brighter light. Most pricked-out seedlings recover from transplanting trauma in a few days, and show new growth within a week.
- Those that won’t go into the garden for several weeks will need to be shifted to larger pots, but "potting up" older seedlings with strong root systems is a much easier job compared to the slow, delicate work of pricking out baby shoots.
NOTE: Trays with smaller plugs are well-suited to most salad crops, especially if they will be transplanted within a few weeks of sowing. Use trays with larger plugs for bigger, hungrier seedlings such as cabbages, or for vegetables like onions that will be grown on to a large size before planting.
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