Pricking Out Seedlings – Transplanting

Pricking Out SeedlingsIn this video Simon Tetlow, deputy head gardener at the world famous Tatton Gardens, shares his secrets for transplanting seedlings successfully.

However you start off sowing your seeds, there soon comes a point where they need to move on to an individual pot and this is where you can easily damage or even kill the plant. At this stage they’re like newborn babies, handle with great care!

There’s a lot of useful information in this video, you might want to take notes and don’t forget you can play it more than once.

Pricking Out Seedlings – Transplanting – Method

When a seed germinates, the energy in the seed pushes up a small stem up and a root downwards. Like a nose cone on a rocket are the seed leaves on the top of the stem. Once clear of the soil, the seed leaves unfold like solar panels, which they are, to power the growth of the first true leaves.

If you’ve sown in a seed tray, sometimes called a flat, or small pot the seedlings will pretty soon intrude on each other and check or stunt each others growth. So we need to move each seedling into its own space with room for the roots to develop and grow.

The problem is that the seedling is, like a baby, very delicate at this stage. You need to carefully loosen the soil to free the root. I find a plastic plant label ideal for this – a sort of mini-spade. Now this is important: never handle the seedling by the stem or first true leaves. Handle by holding the seed leaves.

If the seed leaves are damaged, the plant will just carry on as they have done their job.

Dib a hole in the compost in the pot or module and dangle the root into it. Then, using the end of the dibber, push the soil around the root and firm it down with your fingers. I always give them a light drink at this point just to make everything settle down and the job’s done.

Posted in Tatton Gardens, Vegetable Growing, General Gardening
One comment on “Pricking Out Seedlings – Transplanting
  1. kev jon says:

    Nice to see some one who knows gardening and looks like a gardener unlike the TV gardeners

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