Learn when to transplant seedlings into a larger containers to keep them thriving!
You've done it! You've nurtured and babied mere seeds into sprouting, gorgeous green sprigs! You planted them a little skeptical, but hopeful, nonetheless, that they would blossom into something that would fill your raised garden bed with a huge spring bounty. Lettuce for your salads, cilantro for your fish tacos and arugula to balance out pizza night--what more could you ask for?
You might remember our post from a few weeks ago when we planted out little seeds. Trying to start your garden from seeds can seem daunting but with a few of the right conditions, it's not too hard at all. In fact, like we talk about in our first post--we saw some sprouts after just 48 hours! So needless to say, after a few weeks of the seedlings starting to take deep root, we knew it was time to get them into a larger container and continue their growth inside before the final transplant to the raisden bed garden when the weather warms up. Below we outline some things to think about when transplanting your seedlings into the next phase.
Things to Consider:
When to Transplant Seedlings
It can be tricky trying to decipher when to transplant your seedlings. The best time is after a few weeks when the roots are starting to run out of room and the you know they can't go straight into the ground yet. For us, it's been about 5 weeks and so we transplanted them out of the cardboard egg container and into small pots--about 25% larger than the current size they're in is what's recommend.
How to Thin Seedlings
If your seedlings have grown in super thick, you will want to thin them out so they can have increased air circulation and the leaves won't mildew from overcrowding. The pictures below you can see how our plants were starting to overcrowd and get really thick, so we tried to think them out some when replanting them. This article is a great resource for how to thin your seedlings.
When Do You Transplant Your Seedlings into the Garden?
After you've transplanted them into their second home--you will want to keep them indoors until you're sure the last frost is over. When the weather finally warms up, you can transfer the seedings to your inground garden or pots outside. The ideal temperature for seeds to sprout if you're starting your seeds outdoors is 80 degrees. To learn more, this article has a great chart with different temperature recommendatiosn for different stages of the seed growth cycle. We plan on covering ours with chicken wire once we transplant to keep the rabbits and squirrels out!
How Much Water Do Seelings Need?
It is best to keep seeds damp and water about once a day. As they sprout, you can water every other day. It's better to not over water, though. If the leaves start to turn a little bit yellow, then it's a sign they're getting too much water.
How Much Light Do Seedlings Need?
Choose the spot in your house that gets the most sunlight and position your seedlings as close to the window as possible. We chose a sunny window that get sun a good amount of light exposure throughout the day really and especially in the morning. If you live far north and the sun isn't that strong--you can put plastic bags over your seeds and sprouts to create a mini green house effect until temperature warm up.
Stay tuned as we document the sprouts transfer to our raised garden bed this spring! If you're looking for more articles on gardening, check out our Grow It section and check out how we started our seeds here.