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Room to Grow...Transplanting Your Seedlings

04 October 2022

What started as a desire to grow all my own garden plants from seed has transformed into an annual massive spring endeavor to start and nurture thousands of garden plants from seed to farmers market plant starts. Let’s just say that I transplant a whole bunch of garden plants every year!

If you plant your seeds in groups like I often do, I will share some tips that I have found helpful to make transplanting those tender tomato and pepper plants a little easier. It is usually best to wait for most garden seedlings to grow their first set of “true leaves” prior to transplanting. The first set of leaves that form are “baby leaves” (not a technical term) and the second set of leaves that develop are “true leaves”. You can see them on both examples of the tomato plants (left photo) and pepper plants (right photo) shown below. (Yes, I use repurposed mushroom containers with drainage holes for my initial growing phase!)

When ready to transplant, make sure that you water the soil well so that the plants pull out easily and you carry a bulk of their root systems intact. My favorite tool for transplanting is a regular teaspoon…. yup, a regular old teaspoon. I use the handle to make vertical channels for the plant root to travel into the soils and also to guide the plant itself into the soil. If a little extra soil is needed, the spoon part comes in handy to fill in with more.

Make sure to water well after transplanting and “voila!”…. your baby plants have a new temporary home!!

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