Starts for Transplants

Artichoke Lover

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I've tried burying them deep when I transplant and they don't do well for me. I think it's because of our heavy clay soil and that the ground is still so cold 8-10" down. They always seem stunted even though I harden them off plenty. This year I'm hoping to get a head start on root development with deeper containers and not have to plant them quite so deep.
Try planting them laying on their sides. It gives them more root area but it’s still close to the soil. Planting them deeper tends to be recommended for southern areas since we are more prone to drought and the soil can actually get too hot at the surface.
 

Zeedman

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plus i really don't mind leggy tomato plants when planting them out since we bury them deeply. :)
I do the same, if transplanting is delayed & the tomato plants are still leggy even after pinching off the tips. It's hard to dig deep in my heavy soil, so I dig a trench - burying the roots at the lowest point, and as much of the stem as I can - then prop up the leafy end with packed soil. Once the plant begins to grow, it straightens out. About mid-season, once that buried stem has rooted, the plants really take off.
 

flowerbug

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I do the same, if transplanting is delayed & the tomato plants are still leggy even after pinching off the tips. It's hard to dig deep in my heavy soil, so I dig a trench - burying the roots at the lowest point, and as much of the stem as I can - then prop up the leafy end with packed soil. Once the plant begins to grow, it straightens out. About mid-season, once that buried stem has rooted, the plants really take off.

i think this also helps the plant avoid more BER - more roots and down deeper. in our heavy soil i try to keep them watered regularly, especially during the hottest times. we still might get some BER on the earliest ripening tomatoes, but it usually isn't too bad or too many.
 

Gardening with Rabbits

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Yesterday, I was at the bench in the greenhouse reciting my mantra for moving seedlings:

Many Roots, Few Leaves, One Stem
@BeanWonderin , those look nice and deep :). Bottom watering would allow for even more potting mix on top. It settled so much in my 4-packs, I'll be topping-off mine.

Steve
Over the last couple of years or so, YOUR saying has popped in my head when I transplant, especially the ONE STEM LOL
 

Zeedman

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i think this also helps the plant avoid more BER - more roots and down deeper. in our heavy soil i try to keep them watered regularly, especially during the hottest times. we still might get some BER on the earliest ripening tomatoes, but it usually isn't too bad or too many.
Good point. That may be why I see BER so seldom.
 

BeanWonderin

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I got a new heating mat and controller this year and I really like it. Yesterday I temporarily moved the flat of flowers I was starting off the mat. Then, before heading to bed I put it back on the heating mat and turned on the controller, which is set to 75 degrees F. It wasn't until I woke up this morning that I realized I had never put the temperature probe in the soil. It was up to 140 degrees when I shut it off!

So most of the cornflowers that had sprouted have made it but the poppies did not and have all wilted. The strawberry spinach seems to have thrived on warmer temps with many seedlings popping up overnight. The flowering carrot might have squeaked by. I had a few peppers in that flat, too - they still haven't shown any signs of sprouting but I would guess they're alright.
 

digitS'

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:oops:

Seems like there should be an automatic shutoff before 140°!

Well, I'll admit to a booboo, @BeanWonderin . I'm struggling with the warm-season plants still indoors having enough access to the South Window. Having filled the sunny side of the table, I put the folding step ladder over there. Coulda shoulda just brought the proper size piece of plywood in to fit the window.

It's the handle of the little ladder that is the height of the window. So, one end of the flat on sill, the handle set about halfway under the 1/2 filled flat of eggplant seedlings - now stay away from it.

Of course, I didn't. As I'm doing a long reach across the table, I feel something move against my half-useful left leg. Flat with its cookie box of soil and eggplant falls on my foot!

Thought about just heading straight out to the greenhouse like that -- left slipper full of potting soil 🙄. Didn't. Limped out on the deck to dump and broom off the slipper. Put scrambled cookie box down somewhere and returned to sweep carpet (gently) with whisk broom. Vacuum cleaner did a good job and DW will never know ;). Out to greenhouse after a change to shoes. Eggplant now in 4-packs!

Greenhouse furnace is running. Gotta get some of these things outta this window!

Steve
 

BeanWonderin

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Seems like there should be an automatic shutoff before 140°!
Yeah. It certainly would have shut off at the set temp if I had put the temperature probe in the soil. Without that, it's just running the heating mat full time. I didn't really know how hot the mat could get without a controller. Maybe I could wire up a second safety shutoff on the mat itself. Or - just remember to put the probe in the soil!
 
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