Growing Your Vegetables Inside Then Moving Them Outside
Growing your vegetables inside then moving them outside is an excellent way to develop strong plants.Once your seedlings are ready to brave the elements outdoors, how do you best move them to their new location?
Getting started growing vegetables is quite simple. Having access to a greenhouse opens up all kinds of opportunities for vegetable growers. New plants will be protected from the worst extremes of the weather during their most delicate stage, as well as being out of harms way from pests like slugs. Use a good seed compost to fill your trays, as this will have all the nutrients that a seedling needs to start producing healthy growth. At this stage, there is no need to skimp on how many seeds you sow, as another advantage of starting seeds off in the greenhouse is that it gives you an opportunity to weed out the weaker plants and only select strong, healthy plants to transplant later.
Wait for the key stage of three leaf sets as an indication that it is time to transplant it into its main growing bed. Don’t transplant seedlings that only have their first ‘seed leaves’ as they are still too vulnerable to pest attack and weather extremes, so let your seedlings grow into reasonably strong plants before moving them outside. Discard weaker plants at this stage (you will probably have far too many plants anyway) and only pick the strongest, healthiest seedlings.
Preparation is everything when it comes to moving your plants.. Give your transplanted vegetables an easy transition by making sure that the bed you’re transplanting into is fully ready to accept the new plants. Make sure there are no weeds that may compete with your seedlings for nutrients and light and that the soil is as good as you can make it, not too wet or too dry. Ideally you should water both the seedlings and the bed before transplanting.
Pick a day that isn’t too hot or too cold, and try not to transplant if there is a forecast for heavy rain within the next 24 hours, as this can damage the seedlings. Work out the suggested plant spacing before you start and mark out the beds (learning how to grow vegetables involves a little bit of maths!) But don’t worry too much; if you think that your plants are becoming overcrowded you can always re-space them later.
Some plants don’t take well to being moved. While vegetables such as cabbages, cauliflowers and other types of brassica are ideally suited for transplanting, the technique doesn’t work well with root crops such as carrots or parsnips. These vegetables should be sown straight into the ground, as transplanting them can result in some very interesting shapes! If the tips of root vegetables get bent over in transplanting, you could end up with curly carrots or peculiar parsnips, so avoid transplanting root vegetables.
Transplanting is dangerous for a young plant so needs to be carried out carefully, but if you are to cultivate a varied and healthy vegetable crop, you will have to use this method of growing on seedlings raised indoors or in a greenhouse at some stage. Make sure that your transplanted seedlings are planted to the right depth. If they are replanted too deeply the above ground section may start to rot. If they are too shallow they can either push themselves out of the ground or get knocked over by windy conditions.
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