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How To Start A Vegetable Garden - 30 Day Challenge - Potting Up Your Seedlings
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How To Start A Vegetable Garden  -  30 Day Challenge  -  Potting Up Your Seedlings

Welcome to Day 15 of the 30 Day Challenge: How to Start a Vegetable Garden. In my last few articles, I discussed Earth Day and why it is so important to grow your own food, hardening your seedlings, and how to plant potatoes.

If you missed any of these articles, you can find them and more on my website. A link is located within my Street Articles profile to all of the articles for this challenge.

What is Potting Up?

Potting up is when you transplant seedlings (or plants) from a small container to a larger container. When starting seeds in starter pods, the new seedlings can only grow so large before they outgrow those tiny pods.

In order for the plants to grow larger and stronger to be ready for transplant to their permanent home, they may need to be potted up.

When to Pot Up?

Once your seedlings have at least 4-6 permanent leaves, it's time to transplant them to a bigger container. This is true only for the very tiny starter pods (they are about 1" x 1" square pods).

If you started your seeds in a pod that was 3" x 3" or larger, you will not need to pot up your seedlings before planting them in their permanent homes.

Tip: The first two leaves to grow when your seed sprouts are not the permanent leaves. Do not count these when determining if it is time to pot up your seedling. Additionally, consider the size of your seedling when potting up. 4-6 permanent leaves is a guideline, but if the plant is only an inch high, it should probably grow a little stronger before you pot it up.

My Seedling Update

I still have my seedlings in their tiny pods. They have been hardened off for a week or two now and have a permanent home on my back porch which receives a lot of sunlight.

The squash and zucchini are doing fantastic and are 4" or more high. I am ready to place them in their permanent home (our raised bed) but have discovered that another tree must come down first as it is causing a lot of shade. I will transplant these when the tree has been removed.

Our tomato plants are doing great, which is a relief after how scrawny and thin they were two weeks ago. They are ready to be potted up and are close to 2" high. They are still very fragile looking, so I do not want to place them in their permanent homes yet. Since they will be in an upside down planter, they need to be very strong before they are placed in their final destinations.

Our lettuce is starting to look much better. The plants are still small, about 1-1.5" high, but the permanent leaves are getting bigger and leafier. I have not yet decided, but will probably pot them up when I pot up the tomatoes as I don't think they are big enough for their permanent home yet. I'll need to research this one a little more.

I planted watermelon and cantaloupe in 3" x 3" pods last week and they have been inside under the plant lights 8-10 hours per day. One of the watermelons sprouted today, which caused a lot of excitement in our household!

I do have some seeds that I started in their permanent homes that are doing great - the dwarf carrots are really moving along nicely with the seedlings about 2" high. My peppers were just planted last week and have not yet sprouted. They got drenched outside in a bad storm, so if I don't see any sprouts by next week I'll probably start them over.

We need to get the cucumber, spinach, peas, and green bean seeds started. Perhaps that is this week's project...

30 Day Challenge

For those of you who are following along with the challenge, how are you doing? Are your seedlings ready for potting up or transplant into their permanent homes? If you have any gardening questions, please post them here or on my blog and I will do my best to help you.


Street Talk

C4rmen  

I marvel at how the care of your garden is akin to the care for children. Giving love and receiving a harvest :)

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

C4rmen, I love love love your comment! Thank you so very much!

Reply
  about 7 years ago
Golfspice  

Good progress - you're even tempting me to have a go in the garden!

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

Give it a go, Golfspice. I doubt you'd be disappointed!

Reply
  about 7 years ago

half way there!

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

Thanks, Shawn!

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Quite a garden! I'm impressed. Most people don't do this all in a year... let alone a month! Hope you'll start sharing pictures... thanks!

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

Thanks, Cynthia! I'm going to have to upload the pictures to my website since we're limited on our picture space here on SA. I'll let you know when they are up!

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Ahhh... but that means you can write lots and lots of articles! Never ending supply of your own pictures growing day by day...

  
  about 7 years ago
Barbara9  

excellent article

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

Thanks, Barbara!

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Another good one AJ in which I commend you to all readers, a fantastic article. Our friend Heather I hope is saving all these articles of yours, she is going to need them when going to Canada. I just wish I could be a fly on the wall to watch her efforts. I would be totally thrown myself coming from the southern hemisphere almost tropical zones to that of yours and then still further north, It isn't going to be easy for her. HELP her please....

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

Thanks, Rob. I'll do what I can to help Heather when she moves to Canada. But, I believe she'll do just fine - she seems to have quite the green thumb!

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Wow, AJ! What a lot happening. This article reminds me again that I will be on a steep learning curve if I move. The 2 punnets of lettuce we stuck in the ground and ignored about 3 weeks ago are ready for me to start harvesting leaves now. It's cooled to around 25c here most days. Sunny and good rain so everything is springing forth without the pests of summer. Must get some more stuff in the ground.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

Harvesting your lettuce already! I'm jealous. I agree, with the wonderful weather and minimal effort needed, get some more things in that garden!

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Question for you before I go read anything. My property is sandwiched between my dock on the backside, and the bogie channel on the front side. Literally I have 20 ft or so between the house and the salt water and the harsh sun pretty much all day long here. Can stuff be grown in this situation? I think I am zone 10 to boot.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

Wayne, that's a great question. I believe you're in the Florida Keys? With a stronger sun down there and the location available being full sun, my main concern is plant burnout. You're plants will need to be watered frequently (at least twice a day, maybe more). There are self watering containers available that would help a lot. Additionally, you could add DIY self-watering containers (like plastic water bottles pushed into the dirt) to keep it moist. I'll be doing an article on these containers soon. I believe you can grow in your area, but may want to talk to a local garden center for more tips on your specific area.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
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