Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tutorial: Seed starting Part 2

I love the bag. I hope you get the iron thing resolved as well, most frustrating! Well, it's time to transplant my seedlings. We transplant to provide more room for the root system and to move them into separate containers so they will be easier to plant in the garden. We usually don't transplant all of the plants, but pick the strongest ones.

As you can see in the photo, they've grown quite a bit. The larger ones are the zucchini, cucumber, cantaloupe and pumpkin. The smaller ones that you see are the cauliflower and tomatoes. I'm still waiting on the peppers. The germination is longer on those and I hope they come up!!
So here's how to do it...

I get some of those empty plastic pony packs or you can use the jiffy pots that you can plant right in the ground. We reuse our pony packs...I'm not sure the experts would recommend it, but it's worked fine for us. Also, keep a pencil handy...you'll need it. If planting indoors, I use newspaper to cover my work space...you can see that in the background :)

After filling the pots you are using with potting soil, make a hole with the pencil in the center of the pot.

Next, carefully use the pencil to help loosen the roots of the seedling and while lifting carefully just under the leaves, pick the plant out of the dirt (you can carefully pick it up by the leaves). MAKE SURE YOU HANDLE IT CAREFULLY...DON'T PINCH OFF THE STEM OF THE PLANT. I never pinch when lifting...that is where the pencil comes in handy.

With the help of the pencil, place the roots in the hole and lower the plant. We do bury ours deep so that they don't get as "leggy" as they grow, and they'll have a better root system.

As you will notice, my tomatoes are buried deep...not much showing above the dirt.
Now we leave them by the window under the fluorescent light. I do think the light is working better this year than just the light from the window. Our plants have grown toward the window in past years, but we haven't noticed that this year.

I am also going to start leeks, acorn squash and basil this week...so excited to try those things. I've never planted leeks before so that will be fun! I'll keep you posted on how the hoop house is coming. I'm hoping to make some great progress this week!


Kate said...

I LOVE the sight of little green leaflings working their way up from the soil. Welcome, spring!

It's on my list this week to head to the store to pick up some seeds of our own. I'm scared. In the past, I haven't had much luck with starting from seed. Wish me luck!

Your seedlings look great!

Destri said...

Awesome pics! They look fabulous.

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