Every year I get lots of questions on how to start seeds and transplant seedlings. To see how I start the seeds go here, but here’s how I transplant my baby seedlings up into larger pots.
Here are the seedlings today from when I planted on February 8. Notice the first true leaves are showing. They are now ready to transplant. Can’t let them get too big in these shallow seedling trays. With my marks, I can see what didn’t germinate.
Here’s the line up of what each number represents again if you want to see how each seed variety grew.
I use 4 and 6 pack pots for transplanting up. I disinfect them in a kitchen sink full of water with about 2 tablespoons of bleach. Just dunk the pots and any trays you may use and then rinse them off and they are ready to plant. You don’t have to scrub them, just dip them in quickly, like they use to do with the glasses in those old college bars (oops, giving away my past!) If they are brand new, never been used before, then skip the bleaching.
I’m using ‘Moonshine’ planting soil. I talked about it here. Great stuff.
Be sure to pre-moisten the planting soil. Here I’m using a shallow ‘Tub Trug’. I love those tubs—so handy-from this to harvesting crops later and they come in fun colors.
Make some holes with your finger big enough to accommodate the root ball. You’ll be surprised how big the little rootballs are.
I take a small knife (this one plastic) and gently pry up the seedling out of the tray and carefully put it into a hole I made in the soil.
Pick up seedlings by the leaves NOT the stem. The stems can get easily damaged so always handle them from the leaves. Notice the roots! I usually like to put the stems a little deeper in the hole so they stand upright.
Gently pack the soil around them so they are sitting up nicely and not leaning.
Water them with a diluted solution of seaweed fertilizer and Superthrive to help with any transplant shock. Do NOT give them any fish fertilizer as that may give them too much nitrogen when first transplanting and send them into shock. Wait a couple of weeks before giving them any fertilizer with nitrogen. The seaweed and thrive help reduce any transplant shock.
Here is one of the first flats transplanted. Ain’t they pretty?! Now they are ready to take off and really grow! The next replanting will be into the greenhouse raised beds when they are bigger!