Planting Potted Vegetable Starts
Prepping the soil
For the greatest yield from your garden it’s a good idea to know what the nutritional needs are of the specific plants and try to plant them grouped accordingly. Soil test kits are available that can measure a number of soil variables. Once you know what your plants need, Western Farm Center carries a wide variety of bagged soils, and soil amendments that add needed nutrients and help your garden flourish. (new starts are grown in excellent soil so as a general rule try not to fertilize newly transplanted pots for approximately 6 weeks to avoid burning the roots) If adding any other amendments dig the hole out larger than needed for the size of the pot being used and mix them into some turned or fresh soil that can be into the hole.
Remove the plant from the pot.
Lightly water the plant, let it dry for an hour or so, and then gently remove the plant from the pot. You can do this by turning the pot over and gently pulling the pot up and away from the root ball. It’s not a good idea to yank a plant out of its pot by the stem. It’s OK to gently loosen or “scratch” the root base with a finger or a fork, but be careful not to cause any root damage. Cut away dead or rotted roots and gently set into place, backfill with soil or compost and press the soil down firmly around the plant.. One of the main causes of plant collapse is planting too deep.
Water thoroughly, and if necessary, add a little more soil to top it off. Adding a layer of mulch on top of the fresh soil has the benefit of protecting the soil from changes in temperature and reduce the frequency of watering by retaining moisture. As a general rule for the first 2-3 weeks transplanted starts require more water while they are establishing their new root system but it’s always a good idea to research the water needs and map out your garden accordingly. Planting something that needs constant watering right next to another plant that thrives in dry conditions is not going to work out well.
*planting certain vegetables (such as tomatoes) deeper than the original pot can help develop their root structure faster, stronger and make them more stable. Do your research before planting, it pays off.
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