Transplanting problems?

kurbans(5)June 16, 2014

Hi fellow gardeners - I have a question that has plagued me this whole season. I'm not totally new to gardening, but this is my first year doing it in CO.

I get my starters from the farmer's market, and they look great initially. Then, after I transplant them, the leaves almost immediately start to yellow/brown and wilt. Here is an example of some cucumbers that I transplanted yesterday (how do you post more than one photo in a thread?):

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...and here is a picture from today. The smaller leaves are yellowish/brownish and wilting with little spots on them.

And this has been happening with almost all my transplants (cucumbers, cantaloupe, edamame, sunflowers etc.). Am I doing this wrong? What's going on here? And most importantly.... WILL THEY SURVIVE?

Any advice/help/knowledge is appreciated!

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 9:50PM
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And here is a picture of my edamame.. Similar for each transplant.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 10:18PM
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loribee2(CA 9)

I've always been told that deterioration that quickly is from transplant shock. Is it possible it got colder last night than you expected?

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 11:32PM
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Are you keeping them well watered? In the beginning, plants need more so that the surrounding soil is wet and the roots have moisture when they reach deeper and wider. I just learned this myself from the garden center, when I asked why my transplanted potted geraniums always croaked in a few days. My newest geranium is soaked every two days and she's green and strong ! So glad I asked !

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 11:53PM
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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

Do you know if they were hardened off properly?

What is the mix you are using in your containers?

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 12:19AM
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theforgottenone1013(MI zone 5b/6a)

Looks like sun scorch damage from the plants not being hardened off before placing in the garden. I know you bought them from a farmer's market and they should be hardened off but in the future before planting them directly into the garden (or in pots in the garden) make sure they are used to full sun and outdoor conditions.


    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 10:31AM
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Sorry for a massive delay in response...

I ended up pulling the edamame because it completely died. I am pretty sure it was sun damage, because it was watered sufficiently, but was in the sunniest part of my garden by far. Cucumbers survived though.

Thanks again, community.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 12:23PM
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I always get transplant shock, and sometimes they come back wonderfully-others, not so much. I had to go away this weekend, so I had to quickly transplant a couple zucchinis before we left to be watered in the regular garden from pots. I did it in the evening, before the storm (Arthur). I had read to do it when it wasn't sunny. They look pretty good days later, whereas my others planted early looked near death. Soak the hole, soak the roots and try not to disturb them. I have to do it again soon, so fingers crossed!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 8:50PM
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annew21 (zone 7b NC)(7b NC)

I don't think that beans like being transplanted. That's what I've heard. I've never tried to transplant them. Maybe next time you could start the edamame from seed?


    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 8:54PM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

"I don't think that beans like being transplanted. That's what I've heard. I've never tried to transplant them. Maybe next time you could start the edamame from seed? "

Beans generally don't need to be started as transplants, unless you intend to save seed & bad weather delays planting in the ground.

That being said... because I save a lot of seed, I use quite a few bean transplants every year, with great results. They are very helpful if trying to grow a long-season bean (such as limas or yardlong beans) in areas with short summers. Sometimes gaining an extra week or two at the start of the season can make a big difference in the amount of dry seed harvested.

My best results have been with sterile soil less mix, and peat strips. I use a plastic flat without holes, and sometimes put a layer of sand in the bottom. The sand, if kept moist (but not waterlogged) allows the roots to grow into the sand without air pruning. If those extra roots are pulled out carefully at the time of transplant & not allowed to dry out, they will significantly reduce or eliminate transplant shock. Coil the roots into the planting hole & water immediately.

For the most part (unless saving seed) bean transplants really only make sense if growing pole varieties, since the large yield per plant means you don't need many transplants.

Soybeans are best direct seeded. They are daylength sensitive, so there is not a 1-to-1 relationship between days started early, and days gained on DTM. You only gain about one day for every two days started early.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 12:28AM
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I was wondering the question about the multiple photo thing myself, I couldn't figure it out so I just create a collage of the pics I have and post them. I have posted at the most a collage of 4 photos and it seems to work out ok since most computers these days can zoom-in on a picture.

On the transplanting, I can say that I'm pretty good at it even though I'm new. I've even successfully created new plants from clippings which was fun, and a bit of a science project too. I prep either the ground or a pot with soil on the bottom, then squeeze the container the plant came in so it loosens, then I carefully tip the plant upside down, the plant and soil, and roots drop out, place it quickly in the new pot or ground, and quickly cover it up and around with soil, give it a good water, and leave it out of full sun for a few days to recover. The plant has to process sunlight and draws nutrients from its roots to do so. If the roots are in shock, it will be stressed to process the light. Lots of my plants have gone through shock, but I can say that the only plant that died was a nearly fully-grown sunflower I accidentally yanked from the ground with the roots. Don't ask. lol

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 7:54PM
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ZachS. z5 Littleton, CO

The cucumbers look OK, I generally don't sweat the seed leaves, but I do keep an eye on them a little closer if I think they are fading before they are supposed to.

Colorado gardening is tough for many unique reasons (as is everywhere). The high altitude means our sunlight is far more intense then it is at sea level and our summers, though sometimes short, can be blazing hot. Denver is regularly ranked in the top 3 driest cities in the country. 70F for a week and then 1' of snow. 80 MPH winds (which in the summers heat feels like your standing in a blow dryer) just saps every lick of moisture out of EVERYTHING, including your plants. The climate is really just a b!@#$.

We do, however, tend to have fewer pest and disease issues, and the 40-50* drop in temperature between noon and midnight makes for mighty tasty produce, if you can make it to that point lol.

Don't be a stranger over at the Rocky Mountain forum either.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 8:29PM
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