I'm Very Excited to be sharing my secrets to what I do to prevent transplant shock. I very rarely deal with transplant shock. What I do is different than what I have seen people do, this is what works for me and is what I've been doing. My reason for growing transplants are even different than most. I need to buy myself and my current growing plants some time. Time to prep the beds and time to finish out the previous season. I start seeds outside in little containers, while I know most gardeners like to get a jump on the season by growing indoors or in a greenhouse. I CONSTANTLY change how I garden either through heavy research or through trial and error. So head over to my Facebook group or tweet at me (@excitedgardener) I would love to start a discussion.
0. Directly Sow
*face palm* Of course the best way to prevent transplant shock is to simply not have to transplant. Some plants are more prone to transplant shock or rather don't transplant well. In my experience, peas and nasturtiums are among a few plants that I simply sow in the ground. Anything can be directly sown into the ground as intended by nature.
NOTE: In these photos I am transplanting a container variety of Zucchini that is new to me from Renee's Garden Astia Zucchini. Normally, I mix my own soil, but with lack of time it was simpler for my to buy this Raised Bed & Potting Mix.
1. Use the same soil
This is one of those unconventional things that I do very different than most gardener. I do not use a soil starter; I really never have. Soil starter are very airy and allow seedlings to grow very quickly. I don't want my seedlings growing too fast. I need to by time to ready the beds and let previous seasons plants finish their cycles. I assume by using the same medium that the seed started in and will continue to grow in helps the plant adjust better. Also speedy grows means they quickly become root bound which leads to my next point.
2. Transplant before root bound
I'm not knocking store bought plants, but this is one of my biggest reasons to grow seeds. I can root bound plants sad plants because they want to grow to their full potential but are being stifled. I feel that if you are able to place the plant in its forever home with out disturbing the roots it's optimal and the plant will never know the difference especially if you followed step one.
3. Don't water the transplant
Another odd thing I do, or rather don't do. I make sure that the soil of my transplant is fairly on the dryer side. Instead, I soak the spot or container where I am going to transplant. I do this to encourage the plant's roots to stretch into the moist soil. It's wacky, I know. Most are inclined to water in their newly transplanted plants.
4. Transplant late afternoon or evening
This is one I feel like is a no brainer. Plant roots are more active at night when temperatures are cooler and the leaves are no longer photosynthesizing. My yard is shaded after 2pm so I usually transplant late afternoon depending on the temperature. This is crucial; every gardener should be doing this regardless of the other steps.
Bonus: If your plant does end up getting transplant shock, use a plant stimulant such as SuperThrive or Soil Diva to help the stressed plant perk up. I've been using Soil Diva for a few months now and it's great. Above is my tomato plants that I transplanted (not following my regimen). One suffered shock and in 4 hours after using Soil Diva it perked up. You can find them here: bit.ly/VEG_SoilDiva *Not affiliate or sponsored
I have used SuperThrive or rather my husband used it in my first garden. My plants were always stressed out from lack of water. You can read that story here: About Me
Thank you to all fifteen VEGheads who voted on my polls on Instagram and Twitter. This topic was 1/4 options, it has been 3 weeks since I've done a blog because I have been working like MAD. We're currently in our busiest season. Preventing Transplant Shock won by a significant amount more, I will still post the other blogs when I can just bare with me. To be the first to find out when I post subscribe to the email newsletter. If you have a way of doing things or topics you would like to discuss you can reach me at any of my socials.
Facebook/ Instagram @veryexcitedgardener (facebook group: VEGheads)
*This product was sent to me after communicating with the owner of Soil Diva about a stressed out pepper plant that I had. I honestly love the product other wise I wouldn't recommend it.