It’s about time to start planting your transplants in your garden. You can give them the best possible start by following a few simple guidelines as you transplant.
Prepare your beds before you start planting.
Don’t wait until your plants are sitting in the sun in your garden to start getting your garden beds ready to plant. If you are amending the soil, do it before you bring your plants home. Have your mulch in place on the beds. You can easily move the mulch back to expose the soil and then pull it back around the plant. Make sure you have watered properly. Water slowly to make sure you get maximum infiltration to a uniform depth. When the soil and the beds are ready, get your plants, and get them in the soil as rapidly as possible.
Don’t use synthetic fertilizers.
If you are following a good organic system, you should never need to add synthetic fertilizers to your soil. Studies have shown that the use of synthetic fertilizers does more harm than good in the long run. Concentrate on feeding your soil and not your plants. If your soil is healthy, it will have everything your plants need.
Plant as soon as possible after you get your plants.
Remember that those plants that you bought at the nursery are already stressed. They have ridden in a dark truck without water for hundreds of miles. The quality of care they have received is questionable, especially at some of the big box stores. The best thing you can do for them is to get them into good soil as quickly as possible.
Soak the plants before you plant.
Remove the plants from the nursery containers and soak the root balls in the water. Better yet, add some compost tea or Garrett Juice to the water. The roots of your transplants should be dripping wet when you put them in your garden soil.
Innoculate your hole when you plant.
Digging your hole to make your transplant disturbs the soil biome. Sprinkle a mixture of worm castings and molasses in the hole before you place the plant. I use a recycled parmesan cheese shaker and mix equal parts of worm castings and molasses. I shake it well to mix and sprinkle enough to coat the bottom of my transplant hole lightly. The worm castings contain rich composted material and a variety of bacteria and fungi, not to mention it usually has some worm eggs. The molasses provides a quick boost to the bacteria and fungi to help them get established in the root zone.
Mulch back around your plants immediately.
The mulch will help insulate your plants as well as retain moisture in the soil around the plant. Disturbed soil dries out quickly. A good layer of mulch around your transplant will help stop this rapid drying.
Get your hands in the dirt. Its healthy and good therapy.
Links and Resources
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