|Transplanted seedlings in the sun room|
With our fluctuating spring temperatures, if it is not warm enough to plant seedlings outside, be prepared to move them to larger pots if they become root bound. To tell if a plant is root bound; look for excessive roots coming out of the drainage holes or if you cannot get the root ball to easily slide out of the container.
Once the garden soil warms, the ideal weather for transplanting your hardened off plants is a cloudy day. A hot, dry day will increase the shock of transplanting. Also, if you have left the seedlings in flats, they will take longer to recover than those grown in individual pots because their roots will suffer more damage during transplanting. When transplanting tomatoes, plant up to the first leaves because every hair on the stem will become a root. Once planted outside, protect the plants from the sun and wind for 3-4 days to give them time to recuperate. I use an assortment of materials; cloches covered with remay cloth (floating row cover), plastic mesh trays propped up with a stick and tomato cages draped with burlap. The object is to shade plants from the midday sun until their roots recover. If a cool spell threatens, try covering plants with cloches, plant pots turned upside down or floating row cover to keep them warmer.
Till next week, Happy Gardening and Bon Appetit!
Photo by Sally Rae