Transplanting tomato and pepper seedlings: a follow-up post with N. Tautges

Happy Memorial Day!

I enjoyed the day playing with Morels and transplanting a few seedlings with my friend Nicole. Nicole previously shared her experience with starting tomato and pepper seedlings. Today, we transplanted them outside into her container garden. She has completed the process of hardening them off by placing them outside during the day and bringing them inside at night for several days. This is followed by placing them outside in a protected area for several days before transplanting.

Transplanting itself is pretty straightforward as long as you handle the roots with care. Having the soil at favorable moisture conditions can help with that.

Nicole is transplanting into these bins that have some nice drainage holes in the bottom.

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She has filled them with her favorite potting mix, which could be a blend of compost, worm castings and other goodies as options.

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Solanaceous crops like tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and potatoes all can sprout roots from their stems. When transplanting we can plant them deep and bury them up to the first set of leaves. Roots will grow from their stem to create a more robust root-system for the plant to thrive on during the growing season.

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Peppers are typically seen as a medium-sized veggie plant and grow more straight upwards rather than bushing or vining. Nicole gave each pepper about a 6″ radius for each plant. For a few days following transplanting, it is good towatch the weather and make sure the seedlings are protected from extreme temperatures.

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Through the summer tomotoes and peppers, especially in containers, like lots of food and water. I am making some nice worm casting tea to feed my container garden through the season. It is super organic and biologically active. This is something that is probably on a list somewhere of things that you shouldn’t show off your photos of… but it seems it had to be done. I put the worm castings in a muslin bag, similar to those used for brewing beer, and have been steeping them for several weeks now. I have an old almond butter container as a scoop in there and give most plants a half cup of nutrients every week and a half or so as I water the plants and as they respond.

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Stay tuned for more “grow-it” posts with photos of wierd stuff and maybe a follow-up with Nicole on what she does with her tomatoes and peppers at the end of the season.

Are you growing tomato and peppers in containers? Please share your favorite tips with others in the Palouse Clearwater region by commenting below!

With Gratitude- especially to Shane McFarland for always helping to clean up the mess I make!

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Resources:

Tomato root-structure:

http://www.soilandhealth.org/01aglibrary/010137veg.roots/010137ch26.html

Adventitious roots and starting more seedlings from suckers:

http://www.itsnotworkitsgardening.com/2011/06/adventitious-roots-means-more-plants.html

Mixing organic potting soil:

https://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/summaries/summary.php?pub=47

Heirloom tomatoes:

http://www.seedsavers.org/onlinestore/tomato_3/

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