Transplanting – Part 2
When transplanting starts outdoors, timing is everything. It is important to transplant at the right phase in the plant’s life. You need to wait until the plant is strong enough to survive the transplant, but don’t wait too long, or the plant will be constricted by the pot. For most plants you should transplant soon after the first set of real leaves has developed. Definately transplant before flowers have developed, or you will get unsatisfactory results with most plants. It is also important to plant when the weather is favorable. Warm weather is good because the plants will grow more; but make sure to keep plants moist. Transplanting in the morning is good too, because it gives the plant a full day to recover before nightfall. If you can transplant a few days before a rain, your plant can take root and then get watered in naturally.
To plant your sprouts: first work your soil well, turning it with a shovel. Level your garden bed out so that water will flow across it and fill evenly; this is important because it will allow you to water your plants in more easily. Mark out your desired plant spacing with a stick, or other marker; do this ahead of time to ensure more even spacing (use a string and two stakes to mark out really straight rows if you like). Dig a small hole and place the transplant in it, slightly deeper than it originally was. Lightly pat down the soil while straightening out the plant so it stands upright. Place each plant in a slight basin to catch water and direct it to the roots. You can also make a trench down a row of plants. This is called a furrow, and will allow you to water a row of plants by placing the hose at one end and filling the furrow. Water your plants in as soon as possible after planting for best results. During the first few days check on your plants often.