Creating a Life of Plenty

Transplanting Seedlings

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I have a mass of seedlings that have to be transplanted into the garden this week. The squash, cucumber, radish , beet and onion seedlings are beginning to get leggy in their small peat pods and want to stretch their roots in the garden soil.

Seedlings at this stage are delicate and very tender. You will recall my last post about protecting them. The most tender seedlings are the squash and cucubmber. Beet and radish as well as onion seedlings are more root crop and not so much flower and fruit and need little protection, but for the tender seedlings, follow the same process of protecting them with a recycled plastic bottle or with a decorative cloche.
Seedlings should be dug slightly larger then their peat pot. In good friable soil, there is little cultivation needed, but if you have not cultivated the soil yet, you will want to break up hard clumps twice to three times the diameter of the seedling to ensure the roots can grow.
Seedlings should be watered in well. Since we are planting ours during a wet and rainy week, you would think that we would not need to water additionally, but this would be a mistake. The water not only helps with growth, but it also compacts the soil slightly around the roots, removing air pockets that could damage or kill seedlings.
With a little care, your seedlings will establish themselves in the garden in no time flat. In fact, the small radishes will be ready in two to three weeks! Just in time to be blanched or sliced with your green salads!
Happy Gardening!

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