Transplant Operation

In early August we got our latest bunch of seeds (Eden Seeds) for the new season including several new tomato varieties – Thai Pink Egg and Lecasse di Apulia, Japanese White eggplant and a pumpkin to grow specifically for pepitas, Styrian Hulless.

TB got the tomatoes and eggplants started on the heater pad, bought at from our local brew shop. One hint for helping your young seedlings, is that once they have two leaves above ground give them a dilute watering of plant food, liquid manure etc, every few days as the seed-raising mixes don’t have much nutrient in them. This will help them develop strongly. The Thai Pink Egg seeds have shot very well. The Lecasse di Apulia and the eggplants have not had a good strike rate so far, but we will try some more as the weather improves.

Tomato_seedlings

So this week it was time to transplant these little beauties out of their seed-raising mix and into individual containers. Here’s how to do it:

Get everything sorted and write the name of the seedlings on your pots before you start (obvious but every so often I still manage to convince myself I’ll remember which seedling is which – I never do).

Tomsetup

Fill each pot with new potting mix

Tomsoil

and drill a deep whole with some sort of dibber, in this case a bit of dowell. You may be surprised at how long the seedling’s roots are even at this stage.

Tomhole

When you put the seedling into its new pot bury the plant so that only about a centimetre of the stem remains above ground. This encourages root formation and will help you plants develop sturdy stems. Do the same everytime you pot your tomatoes on and again when you plant them out into the garden.

Tompot

Give all your seedlings a good water with diluted seaweed emulsion or weed tea to help them overcome transplant shock.

Tomatpotwater

Now for Canberra residents please repeat after me: I will not plant my tomato seedlings out until after the danger of frost has passed. That’s late October or even early November, unless you have a specially protected area to put them.

 

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