Featured, Seeds, Steve's Tips, Transplanting

Steve’s Transplanting Process

Dad explained and showed me the art of transplanting on a recent visit with him. Since dad plants a large quantity of seeds, he spends many hours transplanting them before they make their way into his greenhouse. Along with transplanting comes many hours of watering. You really have to be a passionate gardener to spend this amount of time on the whole process.

In my last post I warned my mom about being enlisted for watering duty. Well, I can report she was enlisted and is now assisting in this process sometimes as well. lol  As a matter of fact, dad mentioned to me on my last visit, that mom filled all the water buckets in the greenhouse. He was quite pleased and appreciated this gesture of helpfulness.

(This is the starter soil dad purchases from a local business. I took a photo of it so you could see the ingredients. )

When dad begins transplanting, he fills the chosen container about three quarters full of Pro-Mix HP soil before he begins.  He also keeps a bowl of his starter soil and a container of the pro-mix  soil handy.

Starter Soil


Planting Soil

Once everything is ready,  dad presses holes in the soil where he is going to plant the seedling. He shared a little secret, stating that he also adds a small amount of the starter soil in the hole as well. The seedlings are about an inch to an inch and a half in size before they are ready for transplanting.

Next he gently lifts one seedling at a time from the tray it was planted in. Dad said you have to be careful, making sure you lift out the whole root system. He leaves the soil fairly loose around the seedling, to receive some air and also so the roots have freedom to grow.

Lifting the seedlings out of their original starter tray and placing them in new containers with more space to grow.


                     Dad grasping the seedling and its root system.

Planting the seedling.

Once the seedlings have been transplanted, they are set aside in dad’s shop where it is cool, but still protected. He likes to leave them here for 24 hours to recover from the shock of transplanting. Dad says this is an important step before he places them in his greenhouse.

Transplants will sit for 24 hours before entry to the greenhouse.

It was fun watching dad transplant and listening to all his little tips. I hope you found this helpful. Here is a summary of dad’s tips.

Steve’s Tips

Place a small amount of starter soil in the hole where you are placing the seedling.

Be careful to lift out the whole root system of the seedling.

Leave the soil fairly loose around the transplant, being careful not to pack the earth down.

It’s very important to let the transplants sit in a cool place for 24 hours before they enter the greenhouse.

Dad and I had another gardening session since I gathered all the above information. In my next post, I will share a few more ideas and photos on the process of transplanting.

Thanks so much for following along!


Steve and Debbie

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Debbie Lamey-MacDonaldLibby Wilkie Recent comment authors
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Libby Wilkie

Hi: I came over here from your post in Makelight yesterday about the blog! I am also an avid gardener in the U. S….in the South where it is very hot and humid most of the summer. I’ve never had much luck with planting seeds (don’t have greenhouse etc) but this year, my oh my, I planted zinnias by the dozen in two large pots and yes, they are growing! I know, they are easy, but still for me it was a breakthrough! The transplanting can definitely be the trickiest time of all, as your Dad has shown. I will… Read more »