Thursday, April 14, 2011
Starting Our Garden Part 2
Here you will see the second round of plant starting for the Kaake family this year :) I was watering my plants the other night when I realized that they were not holding in water as much anymore. Every day they were drying out. This was a huge clue that they needed to be repotted into something bigger. The other clue was in the picture above; they were root bound. If these plants do not get repotted, they will die from lack of water because they will lost it very quickly. Here's a few steps in repotting your plants you've started for the garden.
1. Purchase a potting mix - not garden soil. Potting mix has special components in it that will help your plants grow strong. It was also keep the water in better.
2. Purchase or use either smaller pots or you can use something deep and large enough for your plants to all sit in and then cover them with the potting mix. Make sure your plants roots have plenty of room to spread out. I just happened to get the above potting kit on clearance after season last year. My Meijer has great clearance items in the winter for gardening!
3. Get a large (clean) container and put a good amount of potting soil in it. Next, add in plenty of water. You don't want your mix sopping wet, but you don't want it dry either when you use it to repot your plants. You'll know it's wet enough when it just starts to hold together when you squeeze it in your hands. I remember doing this at the vocational school I went to. We'd have a huge table that we'd dump out a full bag of soil on. Then we'd get the hose and water it down good. Using both hands (and arms), I'd dig right in . Oh the memories.
4. Next, put your plant in the bottom of the pot/container and fill the soil in around it. Make sure to tamp down lightly around the plant and on the top. Leave just a bit of space on the top. If the pot is a bit too deep, you'll want to put some soil in the bottom of it first. You want to make sure that the true leaves are not covered by the soil.
5. Water the plants lightly. If there's any extra water within 1 hour of watering, drain it off. The plants could get root rot or mold - you do not want that. This is true with any plants at any time; not just when starting seeds.
6. Place in a sunny location and continue to grow like you have been The great news is you should no longer need to cover the plants. Once they grow their first true leaves, you do not need to cover them anymore.
We live in beautiful Michigan and normally I would plant everything the first week of June. This means I'd start hardening off my plants slowly in May. However, this year has been unusually cold so I may hold off for a week or two. They say it's best to start hardening off tomatoes when temperatures stay above or around 50 degrees.
I hope this has been helpful for you. I will post again when I start hardening off my plants. Oh and I almost forgot to mention, the plants above are tomato plants and Jalapeno Peppers. My Ancho Peppers are still forming their first true leaves so they haven't been transplanted yet.