Strategies To Keep Your Seedlings Alive

Farm and gardening expert, Sheia Kalima Kironn shares her tips to ensure successful transplanting of your seedlings

Sheia Kalima Kironn

Dearest Farm-ily,

There has been an upsurge in interest in home-gardening since the arrival of COVID 19. And many people who have never grown a vegetable garden, are trying it out for the first time 🙂 I am loving this direction!

   So, I am wanting to offer you all some tips to ensure successful transplanting of your seedlings, and strategies that we can use to increase the probability of a successful harvest.

1. Prepare your garden beds, by removing weeds, adding compost, and organic fertiliser.

2. Seedlings are generally ready for transplant after the first 2 true leaves appear on the plant – after the cotyledon leaves – or at approx 4-6 weeks of life, depending on the season and the crop you are planting.

3. Always plant your seedlings in the evening, after the heat of the day has passed at the correct spacing. If planted too closely there will be stunted growth…too far apart and you have wasted space in your bed. For plant spacing, please see here.

4. Water your seedlings at least twice per day, everyday, for the first couple of weeks to ensure that the seedlings will take, and form root structures in their new home. After that ,water as required. Most vegetables require 1-2 inches of rain, or watering per week on average. However, in warm conditions, this will increase.

5. Using shade cloth – or other protective screens to grow your seedlings in – will give you the most success, as they will also protect against pest damage, and provide some climate moderation, whilst the plants are young and vulnerable. I have seen some great home solutions created by a number of companies.

   It is very easy to create a covered garden bed…I use this technique a lot as a commercial grower, especially with brassicas. I use hoops created out of rural polypipe, and I simply put in rods on either side of the bed I wish to cover and put the hoop over the top. Then you can simply cover with shade cloth, or finer aphid screen to cover your vegetables.

Alternatively, you could spray your plants with a natural organic deterrent to help them: neem oil, chilli, garlic, dipel etc. I’m not so much of a fan of spraying, as it needs to happen regularly to be effective, and after every rainfall. As I am a busy mumma, I don’t want to add any more chores to my week 🙂

I hope that these strategies for planting your seedlings will bring you much success, and abundant harvests!

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