Sunday, March 15, 2009


Today's Assignment

Choose your annuals to place in your garden

Remember the following tips when transplanting:

Transplants of annual vegetables and flowers should be stocky, healthy, free from disease, and have good roots. They should not be too small or too mature (tomatoes will transplant all right with fruits already on them, but many other plants will drop flowers or fruit after transplanting). Be sure plants have been hardened-off so that they will easily adapt to environmental change, but they should not be so hardened that they are woody and yellow. Successful transplanting is achieved by interrupting plant growth as little as possible. This is one of the advantages of using peat pots or peat pellets, which do not have to be removed when transplanting.

Have garden soil prepared before transplanting. All additives which require time to break down, such as manures, sulfur, rock fertilizers, and green manures, should be incorporated several weeks before planting. Quick-acting fertilizers and well-decayed compost may be added just before planting

Transplant on a shady day, in late afternoon, or in early evening to prevent wilting. It helps to water the plants several hours before transplanting; when using bare-root plants, such as sweet potato slips or plants from an old-time farm supply store, soak the roots thoroughly an hour or two before setting them out in the garden. They should not be allowed to dry out completely at any time. Handle plants carefully. Avoid disturbing the roots or bruising the stems.

Dig a hole large enough to hold the roots of the plants. Set the plants level with the ground and at recommended intervals. Tomatoes are an exception to the rule of how deep to plant; they will develop roots all along the stems, and you can plant deep enough to leave only two or three sets of leaves exposed. Press soil firmly around the roots of transplants. Pour about a cup of starter solution in the hole around the plant. Use a solution of about half the strength recommended for that type of plant during the normal growing season. Fish emulsion or dilute manure tea may also be used.

For a few days after transplanting, protect plants from wind and sun by placing newspaper or cardboard on their south sides, or by covering with jugs, baskets, or flower pots. Water the plants once a day during the next week if there is insufficient rain. In the following weeks reduce the frequency of water, to every other day the second week and every third day the third week until established

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