Transplanting from seedlings help....

bobby_c(z7 DC)April 11, 2011


I've attempted to start seeds indoors with some success in the past but one problem I've had is during the transplantation phase to large pots. It seems like the soil around several of the seedlings would break apart during transplanting - leaving some roots exposed and diminishing the successful maturation of the plant. I use a seed starting mix - probably a mix of peat, pearlite and vermiculite - very light & airy.

Is there a technique to ensure the whole soil mix stays intact, thereby protecting the roots? Packing it down tight - watering before transplanting, etc.?



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I don't know how you are getting this problem. May be you are transplanting them shallow. I transplanted my seedlings and I transplant them deep especially the leggy ones. I noticed that they developed more roots. The tomatoes, Cucumbers and squash has 4 new leaves.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 4:12AM
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I too have that problem, The starting medium, either potting mix or starting mix, just crumbles away and I am left holding a "bare root" plant. The medium didn't seem to do that as bad in the past. Not enough peat? It is bad enough that I have gone back to peat pellet, that I do not like. Is there anything I can mix in to make the stuff hold together better? I think that I will next time try starting in pure peat.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 9:46AM
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In the faqs under the thin and transplant section, it mentions thinning by separating the roots. I did this with the lettuce and peppers I transplanted recently. I had planted 2-3 seeds in each cell of the 6 packs and most of them germinated. Not sure how well it will work out for all of them but the lettuce I did over the weekend seemed to do really well and the few peppers I did look great too.

I used a popsicle stick to get them out of the 6 pack cells then I just held the clump of dirt in my palm and gently used a thin pick to pull at some of the soil to separate the roots, I read a post somewhere that mentioned using a pencil. Once the 3 seedlings were separated, I just held the leaves and let the roots hang down and put them in the bigger containers.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 2:27PM
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I usually water them good before transplanting- never had a bare root problem.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 10:23PM
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I am using such a loose mix I only have to upend the pot of seedlings and they all fall out with no mix left attached. All my seedlings are potted up from bare roots. There are a few plants that object to having their roots disturbed, and these are usually recommended to be sown on "site" where they are to be grown. If this is not possible I seed them in "root trainers" using regular potting mix which will hold together when the cells are opened and the roots will not be disturbed. Al

    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 9:59AM
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Al, I think I've seen those "root trainers" in a catalogue. They have sort of a hinge so that you open them up and have the whole plug exposed, right?

They looked pretty cool. Is there a reason you don't use them for everything? I was thinking of buying some.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 11:32AM
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loribee2(CA 9)

I actually shake off some of the soil on my peppers and tomatoes when I pot up. It allows me more room to bury the stem. What's strange to me about your post is that your plants suffer because of it. What exactly are you transplanting? I'm thinking like Al--it could be you're potting up plants that don't like their roots disturbed.

Here is a link that might be useful: Loribees Garden Blog

    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 5:47PM
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beatrice_outdoors(6a MA)

This is my first time ever potting up-I usually just transplant my winter sown HOS directly into the ground. So far I've done morning glories and sunflowers, both of which I watered first, about 20 minutes before I transplanted, and both of which I purposely knocked off most, if not all of the soil around the roots. I wanted the roots to get into contact with the "new" fresh soil as soon as possible.

Both types were started as WS flats, and each was transplanted both as small HOS to a pot, and as individuals into flats to generate 3 flats per flower type. I'm simply experimenting to see which way I like better, which works out, and trying to figure out which is the better way to go when giving away to friends and family, seedling exchange, etc.

So far, so good on all the transplants-it's been over a week, and haven't lost one yet. I am handling them by the leaves, not the stems.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 9:23AM
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