Transplanting Tiny Seedlings

Remember those seeds I started this winter? They have grown into small yet fairly hardy little seedlings. The other day I plunked out quite a few of them and transplanted them into their own cells. I have a tendency to plant my seed too thickly. This ultimately makes it so that the seedlings that die pull the others down with them, as their withered little stems and leaves fall on the healthy leaves and bind them up. It also makes little lines on the healthy leaves where water gets trapped, causing them to wither.

So anyway, here is my transplanting session.

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Here are the lettuce seedlings.

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And the kale.

As you may remember, River dumped a whole packet of flower seeds in while I was planting the kale seed. I was devastated, as it was special seed I had been saving to beautiful a central nook in our new yard.

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But all was not lost. Many of the flower seeds survived and grew mixed in among the kale. I am untangling and transplanting them as I go.

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Here you can see that I laid the tiny lettuce seedlings each in their own cell. I buried in the root and most of the stem so that the plant would grow study, not tall and lanky. I followed Charles Dowding’s advice from his book “How to Grow Winter Vegetables.” He recommends using a pencil to get under the seedlings root and lift it out of its original cell. This was such useful advice, as it can be tricky to get them out with breaking a portion of the root. I usually squeeze the bottom of the cell to loosen the soil around the root. This weakens the seed tray, however, and shortens the number of times you can use it before it breaks. The pencil was also useful as a tool for maneuvering the tiny plant around, as my nimble fingers are giant and clumsy compared to this tiny life form. The pencil I used had a broken tip and the wooden part was soft and scrunched, so it did not scratch the plants at all.

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Here are some lettuce seedlings all potted up.

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Here is the book that was so helpful. I am hoping this year to really be able to put it to good use and grow a decent amount of food over the winter.

Here are the transplants at the end of the session:

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Flowers!

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And here they are a few days later:

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About Erin O'Neill

Hi, my name is Erin O'Neill. I am a part time urban homesteader and a full time homemaker and new mom. I enjoy canning my own food, crafting, raising chickens and working my bit of land. This blog is for anyone who wants to hear about the day to day struggles and successes of incorporating the old ways of life back into today's busy world.
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2 Responses to Transplanting Tiny Seedlings

  1. lizard100 says:

    Thanks for sharing. I like the pencil tip. I have a tiny dinner and levering device that came from a pound store type gardening kit also with cane ties etc. But when I can’t find them it’ll be a pencil now!

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