Saturday, May 01, 2010

Gardening Tips

In many areas of around America, gardeners are eagerly transplanting seedlings from the flats they purchased at retail into their home gardens. This all sounds pretty simple but there are a few pointers from the experts that we'll share here to ensure your gardening success. Part of that success entails avoiding transplant shock, providing the right kind of fertilization, and having irrigation set up so you can water from Day 1.
A few key tips from National Garden Bureau and our members:
First is the transplanting date. Do not attempt to transplant annuals before the soil has warmed up enough to not inhibit growth. Also it's important to pay attention to last frost-free dates for your area. This Last Spring Frost Date Map from Botanical Interests will help.
Transplant when your plants are the appropriate size. While in the garden center, check to see if the plant has developed enough of a root system so they come out of the flat, but yet, before the plant gets too big and rootbound in the cell.
Water plants thoroughly (preferably from the bottom) before undertaking your tranplanting. Also, keep the plants in the shade until you need them.
Cloudy, calm days are preferable to sunny, windy days. More tips can be found on various plant types on the NGB Fact Sheets.
Make planting holes, drop in the seedlings, and cover them up as quickly as possible to minimize the time the roots are exposed to air. The general rule is to set the plants at the same depth they were growing in the original container. If your plants were grown in peat pots, be sure the top rim of the pot is covered with soil to prevent the pot from wicking water away from the roots. For some exceptions to this rule, read tips from Johnny's Selected Seeds here.
Water the plants as soon as possible. Even if the soil is moist, transplants should still be watered in to settle them into their holes and increase the root-to-soil contact.
Add a dilute water-soluble fertilizer (good fertilizer tips here from Veseys Seed) to the watering-in solution.
If transplanting to intermediate containers, Park Seed's Gardener's Handbook offers good advice.
If your plans include a mixed container garden, this article and video from Gardener's Supply shares four tips for success.


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