Looking for a good conversation and knowledge about transplant shock.
This year I have several vegetable containers with different types of mixes for comparison:
A. Freshly collected composted leaf mulch.
B. Old leaf mulch from last years containers, mixed 50:50 with uncomposted dry leaves.
C. Composted bark fines & turface
In mixes B & C the pepper & eggplant transplants wilt a lot in the sun & heat. Upper 70s with 4 hours of direct sunlight. I water a little every day and check the mix around the plants. Lack of water isn't a problem. Neither is over-fertilization (did fertilize sparingly)
In mix 1, the plants don't wilt. Mix 1 is very "peat-like".
Also the leftover transplants still in the plastic 6-pack from the nursery, do not wilt at all (and are kept well watered).
I have 2 speculations on why:
In the peat like mix, the roots form better connections from the transplant mix (peat & perlite) to the container mix. Whereas in the other 2 are faster draining mixes and the boundary between the transplant mix and container mix has more "air pockets" so the roots don't connect as well yet. However the transplant mix is kept wet, so I'm not sure this is a good explanation on the difference.
There is something in the composted leaf mulch (taken directly off the ground under a pine tree) that helps the plant overcome transplant shock? Mycelium (sp?) or something?
What has been other people's experience with transplant shock in containers?
Any scientific explanations/studies of what causes transplant shock?
Any new insights on how to reduce it beyond the normal shading and keep watered routine?
Thanks for any responses.