Make your grid. Mark off your garden in a grid pattern according to how much space each plant requires to grow properly. According to Square Foot Gardening principles a foot square is a good allowance for your plants to have enough room, air and nutrients to thrive.
Use 2 stakes, a square and string to make nice neat rows in each direction that will insure you do actually have 12”. Even herbs which look small can grow as large as a pepper plant, so don’t skimp on space for each seedling. Don’t be fooled by tiny beginnings. You will have a larger yield per plant, so you actually need fewer plants.
Dig a hole in the soil to the planting depth indicated on the seed packet. The plant will wash away if the hole is too shallow and it will die if it’s too deep. There are some exceptions to the depth rules. Tomatoes and coleus, for example can be planted deep or even sideways with very little stem sticking up out of the ground.
Roots will form all along the planted stem giving that tomato or coleus plant a firm foundation. It is easy to tell what other seedlings that can be planted this way. They will have little nodules along the stem. Match your planting depth accordingly for this type of plant.
Loosen seedlings with a pencil, popcicle stick or other small flat tool so that the roots pull out of the planting medium easily. Tip the seedling out of the container. Grasp the seedlings gently just below the leaves. If you pinch to hard you will damage the nutrient flow, so be extra careful.
Put your seedling in the ground and cover it gently with soil. Firm up the soil around the stem to eliminate all air pockets. Give the seedlings a good dousing from a watering can immediately to keep the roots moist.
Mulch your garden. Applying mulch to the garden will help keep it moist, reducing the need to water. Mulching keeps weeds at a minimum and discourages certain garden pests. It provides a safe landing place if some produce falls from the plant. It will also keep the soil surface from becoming hard reducing the amount of cultivating you have to do.
Newly Transplanted Garden
Photo Credit: shawnafehlmann/Photobucket
Enjoy your handiwork. Your seedlings are now given the best start you can provide. Let Mother Nature do her thing. Other than keeping weeds at bay and making sure the plants get enough water, all you have to do is watch and wait. Summer’s fruits are ready in no time.
Mr. Ed Bruske of D.C. Urban Gardeners has given us an excellent resource in his video on transplanting vegetables into the garden.
Transplant Seedlings Into the Ground. Mr. Tom Cole from London’s Capel Manor College gives a very detailed, step by step video on the proper way to transplant seedlings into the garden soil.
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