How to Transplant Seedlings

by Corinne Mossati

You’ve successfully sown seeds and you’re about to transplant seedlings into a larger pot or a garden bed. This article, how to transplant seedlings follows from How to Sow Seed and Raise Seedlings.

How to Transplant Seedlings

Nasturtium: How to Transplant Seedlings – Photo © The Gourmantic Garden

How to Transplant Seedlings

When your seedlings have fully developed leaves and you see the roots sticking out at the bottom of the punnets, it’s time for them to be transplanted. Some seedlings like tomatoes benefit from an intermediate transplant into a medium sized container before going into their final spot.

Here are my tips for transplanting seedlings:

  1. The day before transplant, give the plant a good watering as it makes it easier to handle and holds the soil around the roots.
  2. If you’re using a jiffy pot, simply make a hole large enough and plant it slightly deeper than the depth of the pot and cover it with soil.
  3. If you’re using a small container or pot, turn it sideways, squeeze gently from the bottom and cup the seedling with your hand.
  4. If you’re using seed starter trays, you can use a small re-purposed plastic spoon or fork to gently lift the seedling, roots and soil and transplant them into their new home, firming the soil around the roots with your hands.
  5. When transplanting, don’t hold the seedlings by the stem. Handle them gently by their leaves. If you accidentally break one, the plant can grow new leaves but it can’t grow a new stem.
  6. It pays to bury some seedlings such as tomatoes up to the first true leaves. This way it will encourage the plant to grow more roots.
  7. After transplanting, water the plant and if it’s in a container, place it out of direct sunlight for a couple of days to help it recover from the move.
  8. Tip: It also pays to give it a feed with a diluted liquid fertiliser at half strength to help give the plants a good start.
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