It is garden time again! I know we all love this time of year. It is a great time of starting plants and watching seedlings grow but it can also be a very frustrating time of year. You give each and every pod tender loving care and hope that it will sprout and then you see it sprout and you hope it will grow strong.
It never fails though you put all that work into it and some just don't make it. Or you get them to the point they should be big enough to plant and the shock of planting them kills them or really damages them. Over the years we have tried to find ways to make it easier on us and the plants to replant. One of the things I have found is that using my own garden soil rather than a purchased soil is better for the plants, especially when it come to taking the soil from the beds they will be planted in.
It seems that if you use the soil from the bed where they will be going they are already "used" to the soil, for lack of a better word. Well that actually just works great doesn't it? What is better then using what you already have. I use little pots that I purchased several years ago on clearance every year for this task. They are the perfect size to go from spouting pod to.
Your sprouts get to the side that they just don't thrive in the sprouting pods any more and they need more to make them grow. Sometimes it's the roots that outgrow the pods. Regardless of what the issue is we know they need more to thrive on in a larger place but they are not large enough or tough enough to plant directly into the garden. It's not to say that you can't sow directly into the garden but some things just do better if you start them out in a green house or indoors.
Here's what I do....
Gather all my stored empty pots
Gather some old newpapers to cut up and put in the bottoms of the pots to help retain water.
Gather all the seedling pods and take them to the garden bed they will be planted in in the future
Fill the little pots about a third of the way full and then put in one of your pods or if you have multiple seedlings in one container gently scoop it out and be careful not to break the roots.
Once you have your little pods or seedlings in fill in around it with the dirt from the garden bed and then gently water them all.
Then put all your little seedlings back into their sheltered area. I put mine inside of little trays so they are easier to moeve around to water and such.
You will be really surprised how much your seeedlings will grown in just a few days once they have room to spread their little roots and have something to eat out of the soil. When they are about 4 inches tall you can feed them if you like but my soil already has plenty of compost in it from the goats and chickens. They stay well fed.
You will also be pleasantly surprised at how well they do after being planted into their final bed with the soil they are already accustomed to.
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