Do you know when it’s safe to transplant your seedlings?
Growing your own fruits, vegetables, and herbs from heirloom seeds is fulfilling. Once the seed tray is filled with sprouts, you might start wondering when you should transfer them to the garden bed or a long-term pot. Seedlings are delicate things and transplanting them at the right time can make all the difference.
To identify the best time for transplanting seedlings, you need to consider two factors. The requirements are whether the plant is ready and if the weather is suitable.
Seedling Transplanting: When Is The Best Time?
Before transplanting, make sure your seedling is roughly 2-3 inches tall. Observe and see if they already developed their second set of true leaves. It is almost time for your plant to be transplanted when true leaves emerge.
But what are true leaves? First, you should know how to determine the two types of leaves seedlings have:
- Cotyledons: the first leaves that appear and often have a seed coat on their tip. Also called seed leaves.
True leaves: capable of producing their own food through photosynthesis.
However, not all plants have noticeable cotyledons. Therefore, it is safe to transplant when at least two sets of leaves or four leaves are present.
The next thing you should check before transplanting your seedlings to their outdoor habitat is the weather condition. Try to choose a day when the weather is mild and transplant during the cooler hours in the early morning or late afternoon. You can also transplant before, during, or after a rain so the soil is heavily drenched and ready for the seedlings.
Make sure to restrict the amount of direct sunshine your seedling is exposed to after transplanting. Also, never transfer your seedlings into a frost since they will not survive it. Be aware of the frost dates and avoid them at all costs. It is crucial to work with nature and not against it.
Now that you have all this information, it's time to schedule the transplant of your seedlings! You will harvest fruits and vegetables from your plants after several weeks if everything goes well.