I've been asked by a local nursery to grow a number of veggie starts for
them this Spring. Among the plants they want are cantalope, watermelon,
pumpkins, cucumbers and dill. I have some reservations about these because I
think they don't like to be transplanted. Am I correct, or do you experts
<shrugs> I've personally never had any problems transplanting them!
The nice thing about 4" pots is that the whole "plug" goes into the
ground with minimal root disturbance.
Just be sure to protect them from bugs. <g>
Happy gardening! Doing stuff like this can be incredibly profitable,
especially if you can get bulk or used flats and pots for next to
Thanks for your input, Om - I really appreciate it. I will indeed be getting
flats and pots for nothing, but the seed starting mix and potting soil ain't
cheap these days! I think it will be a great late-winter project to keep me
gardening when I can't be out scratching in my garden dirt.
You know, you can probably save a LOT of money on the soil mixes.
Instead of purchasing bagged soils, do a little research on the makeup
of potting soils and mix your own from bulk separate ingredients.
Many a garden center has big piles of different types of materials, and
bags of perlite and vermiculite can be purchased for quite a bit less
than potting pre-mixes.
Look also at medina for fertilizer mixes. They really do work well for a
lot of folks around here.
I do curcurbits in square-section tubes*, the sort that sit in a hole in a
rack of 40. I do one seed per tube with good seed or two with average seed
and if both germinate cull the weaker after the cotyledons open. The whole
rootball comes out in one shake and goes straight in the ground when the
second pair of true leaves are open. I get very good survival rates and a
head start on direct sowing as they can be growing under plastic while the
ground is too cold for good germination. My marrow deluge has started already
whereas most will not be ready for several weeks (it's spring here). A second
advantage of the tube is it sends the roots down, not out, which suits the
curcurbit habit and gets the roots deep straight after transplant which helps
You could do the same, although not quite as well, in those divided punnets
that have 4 or 6 larger chambers. If you use flat punnets or trays with
several seeds in each the roots will get very tangled and you do damage at
planting time which they resent.
The dill I wouldn't worry too much about, I throw them around any old way and
* Yes I know a tube is round but what else do you call them?
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