Transplant leggy seedlings?

csj50May 17, 2014

I posted a few days ago about planting seeds... And boy have they grown! Now I've got some arugula, basil and broccoli seedlings which are becoming leggy...esp the broccoli... So, I'm thinking of transplanting the seedlings tomorrow in large Dixie cups for the time being. ( I did not use grow lights as I am new to gardening and did not want to spend the money on lights)...

As I started the seeds in the jiffy peat pot kit, should I remove as much of the peat as possible before transplanting? Or, can I just remove the netting around the peat and just transplant the whole thing?

Does it really matter between potting soil and mix for the seedlings? I already have some veggies growing in containers that I did not start from seed; some containers I used potting soil, and others, potting mix, and I don't see any difference in growth/overall health.

When transplanting, I should cover up the legs as much as possible, correct?

Thank you!!!!!!

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Ah! My favorite topic. I strongly believe that messing with roots on annuals you've just started (in other words this ain't trees in pots) is a mistake, so I never mess with the integrity of peat pellets. There is nothing about them that will harm or hinder a seedling that's sending out roots into another medium. There isn't a root (nature's mighty hydraulic machine) growing on this green earth that will be slowed down in the slightest by that nylon mesh. When you pull the plant later the pellet will probably be completely intact but surrounded by roots that are ignoring it.

That said, many people play with their little roots a lot and it works out just fine, but those guys are experts in all that. They know what kills and what encourages. I would never recommend stripping the pellets, but for you this is an opportunity to see which way works best with the way you do things.

There are two main limitations of peat pellets that you should remember. One is that they drain so easily that they can dry out too easily, but being surrounded by a transitional medium in the Dixie cups negates that. Secondly they have low nutritional value, so a transplant into something once the roots start reaching out is usually a good idea.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 12:06AM
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Wow, thanks for that! I always assumed the netting had to be removed eventually. As far as transitioning to Dixie cups, could you confirm covering the legs of the seedlings completely? And, potting soil or mix ( or doesn't matter)?

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 12:10AM
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