Whether you start your own vegetables or buy already started transplants, it’s important to do all that you can to give your plants a good start. So in this article, I’ll share all the best tips for transplanting your vegetables so that your plants will thrive!
There are so many things that go into vegetable gardening that it may seem like an impossible skill to master. But it really can be simple and it shouldn’t be anything anybody is afraid of.
Whether you’ve had a garden for years or are just starting out, we are all still learning.
I learn new techniques and tips every year and so as time goes on gardening definitely gets easier but it’s still all about trial and error.
So if you’re new to gardening don’t worry, just start your garden and enjoy the journey!
How to Transplant Vegetables Successfully
Once you have healthy transplants ready to be planted the last thing you want is for them to struggle or die once you get them in the ground.
Thankfully there are a few important things you can do that will almost guarantee that your plants will grow healthy and strong after you plant them.
Plant Into a Well Prepared Garden Bed
The first thing you should do before you plan on transplanting is making sure your garden beds are well prepared.
This means making sure the soil is nicely worked up without any rocks, dirt clods, or weeds.
Then if you need to add in any soil amendments or compost, do that as well.
After your garden beds are ready, on the day prior to transplanting, water your garden beds so that when you plant, the soil is already nice and moist.
Or even better would be transplanting on the day after a nice rain.
Transplant During Cool and Overcast Weather
The next important part of transplanting is transplanting on a cool and overcast day. Even if it’s lightly sprinkling that would be perfect.
Of course, that isn’t always possible because we can’t control the weather but if you are ready to plant and there are any ideal days in the forecast they will be the perfect transplanting days.
If you aren’t able to plant on a cool and overcast day then plant early in the morning or late in the afternoon when the weather is cooler.
Planting in the middle of the day when it’s hot causes your plants to lose moisture and suffer worse from transplant shock.
Handle With Care
There are some vegetables that can be either transplanted or started directly by seed, some vegetables that should only be transplanted, and then others that should only be directly seeded into the ground.
So depending on what the vegetable is will determine how careful you need to be during transplanting.
Some vegetables can tolerate root disturbance with no problem and other transplants don’t tolerate root disturbance.
For example, tomatoes can tolerate root disturbance, so if you have two tomato transplants growing in one pot you can separate the tomato seedlings and plant both separately.
On the other hand, squash plants can be transplanted but they don’t tolerate root disturbance. So if you have two squash plants growing in the same pot you should not separate the plants.
Instead, plant it how it is and snip the second plant off with scissors.
Below I’ll list out the vegetables and their tolerance of root disturbance.
Transplants That CAN Tolerate Root Disturbance:
- Brussels Sprouts
- Chard, Swiss
- Lettuce Heads
- Onions, Bulb
- Sweet Potatoes
Transplants That DON’T Tolerate Root Disturbance:
- Beans (Lima, Shell, and Snap)
- Peas (Shelling and Snap)
So for the plants above that don’t tolerate root disturbance, make sure you are extra careful during transplanting.
Or if your weather allows plant them directly by seed.
Use a Starter Fertilizer
One thing I just started doing this year while transplanting was using an organic starter fertilizer called E.B. Stone Sure Start.
Sure Start is a blend of natural organic ingredients formulated to help newly transplanted plants develop strong roots and sturdy growth.
It helps prevent transplant shock and helps your plants develop a strong foundation for future growth.
All you do is sprinkle a very tiny amount in the hole before you plant your transplant.
I only sprinkle in about a 1/4-1/2 teaspoon per plant.
This is my first year using it and my plants have never looked better.
I don’t use it when starting directly by seed, but when you are transplanting it’s wonderful!
The last important step to successful transplanting is to water your plants well.
You should be planting into a garden bed that has already been watered prior, or planting after a rain so your soil is already moist.
But then after planting you need to water again.
Plants are already likely to go into transplant shock and so the day of planting and the following few days are crucial so your plants don’t have to suffer any more than needed.
But you also don’t want to drown your plants with water either.
For the first few days just make sure the soil is moist so your plant roots don’t become dried out.
After your plants are no longer in shock and appear to be established, get into a normal watering schedule.
If you follow all of the tips above your transplanted vegetables should grow amazing.
It just takes a little bit of planning and care but then your garden will be off to a great start!
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