Thursday, November 18, 2010

green finger tips – plant transplants and avoiding transplant shock

Transplanting seedlings

When you transplant plants, they can look a like they’re dying. Transplanting seedlings will cause transplant shock in the plant. When your plants are ready to be transplanted, you should keep a few things in mind to help minimise the trauma of plant transplant.

Harden plants for transplanting

When your seedlings are ready to be transplanted, you should leave them in the sun for a day or two to harden off. Hardening off is when plants are left in the sun to toughen them up after being in protected nursery conditions. Step 1 in plant transplant is to toughen the seedlings up.

Time of day is critical when transplanting seedlings

Choose the time of day carefully when transplanting. In the summer it is best to transplant in the late afternoon or evening. This gives the plant the whole night to accustomise itself to its new position and it doesn’t have to deal with the hot sun on its first day in the new environment.

In the winter, in milder climates, do your plant transplanting in the morning and no later than 3pm in the day. The water will freeze in the soil and the frost will kill the seedlings overnight should you plant them later in the day.

Protect the roots when transplanting seedling

Always avoid disturbing the rootball of the plants you are transplanting. Keep the soil protecting the roots of the plant you are transplanting, as much as possible. Having the soil the plant was growing in around the rootball helps to lessen the transplant shock.

Some plants can be trimmed back to reduce the amount of leaves on the plant. Plants, like mint, can be stripped of leaves, but others, like baby swiss chard, need their leaves to grow well.

Give extra nutrients when transplanting seedlings

Have some liquid manure or plant feed ready to help relieve the symptoms of transplant shock. Throw a little compost into the hole you are placing the seedling into. The plant transplant will go smoothly with extra nutritional planning for the plants.

May your green fingers flourish.

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