Starting seeds in pots, indoors or out, can give them the extra bit of protection they need to make it to the next stage in life. The competitors and antagonists of the garden are all too happy to gobble up anything we throw at them. So giving them a leg-up, helping them get big and strong to outgrow the opposition, is the least we can do. I love this technique for growing and transplanting seedlings and sort of think of it as cheating. It’s easy and doesn’t take much space, perfect for a garden of any size, but SmallSpace gardens in particular.
I’m generally not a plastic lover, but 4″ pots and 6 packs certainly have their place. They can be used again and again and retain moisture while providing adequate drainage. It also helps that they’re flexible, making it simple to ease out plantings.
Other things to keep in mind when transplanting:
- When working with tightly packed seedlings, prick them out before the true leaves develop or shortly after.
- Prep your soil ahead of time making sure it’s moist before planting.
- Take care with the roots. You want them to develop quickly.
- Handle by the seed leaves, plants soon loose these leaves once true leaves grow. Damaging the seed leaves is less risky than damaging the first true leaves.
- Be sure all of the roots are covered with soil.
- Gently press the soil around the base of your planting, roots need good contact with the soil.
- Water and give your seedlings plenty of sun.
- Grow happy plants