I find there are a lot of benefits for growing seedlings earlier as plants are much more established, grow much more healthier and stronger and produces much earlier growth and produce. If you are fortunate enough to own your own heated glass house or you have enough light on your windowsill to get going, you will certainly be ahead of the game and you will be the envy of your friends and family.
Selecting the healthiest seedlings for transplanting.
When the time comes to transplanting, you need to be able to decide which of the plants will be most likely to survive; the transplanting process is a traumatic upheaval for the seedling. You will need a good multi-purpose compost media to establish the seedlings. They need to be strong and stocky looking with two leaves that look a very strong dark green colour.
How to transplant seedlings for the best results.
Make sure that the seedlings roots are nicely moist before they are transplanted. It is very important not to disturb the fine root hairs as these are delicate and very essential for feeding and ensuring their growth. You should always use your fore finger and your thumb supporting the two seed leaves and with a pencil or dibber support the underneath of the fibrous roots. By doing this you will avoid damage to the tiny hairy fibrous roots. The majority of seedlings, can be transplanted to the depth of their roots, but tomatoes and peppers will benefit and grow stronger when they are planted up to at least the first set of leaves. They will develop more roots on the stem once they become established.
Watering transplanted seedlings
Once the seedlings have been transplanted into their new pots/trays they will need to be watered regularly for the first couple of days. DO take care not to over water as you can do more harm than good (It’s finding the right balance). After two weeks of being transplanted, feed with a high phosphorus liquid feed. This will ensure good even growth, but caution should be taken with newly transplanted seedlings as there is a danger that overfeeding can burn their roots and cause them to damage.
Please contact me if you have any further queries on transplanting seedlings.