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Please see below some guidelines to get you started with starting transplants and then the ultimate goal of planting them:

Steps for Starting Transplants

1. Mix half sterilized garden soil with half good compost.

2. Make holes in the bottom of the containers for water drainage.

3. Fill the container with the soil/compost mixture until it overflows. Then pat it down gently.

4. Sow the number of seeds as appropriate for the size of container. Most seeds should be planted in the soil twice the depth of the seed size. Example – plant a 1 cm seed 2 cm deep.

5. Cover the seeds with a little bit of soil. Do not plant the seeds too deep or they will not be able to germinate. Press lightly.

6. Each seed should have contact with soil. This will not be a problem if your soil is fine. Water gently with a watering can or spray lightly over a palm leaf. Take care not to water with a strong stream or you may erode the soil and wash the seeds out.

Best if transplanted from a nursery

VegetableSeedlings ready for transplant

Cabbage- 3-5 weeks

Eggplant-4-6 weeks

Kale-3-5 weeks

Okra-4-6 weeks

Onion-3-6 weeks

Pepper-5-6 weeks

Tomato-4-6 weeks

Best if directly seeded

VegetableSeedlings ready for full sun

Amaranth-(grain)1-2 weeks


Carrot-1-2 weeks

Green bean-immediately

pumpkin-2-3 weeks

squash-2-3 weeks

spinach-3-6 weeks

  1. Dig a hole large enough to hold the transplant roots. Add a handful or two of compost to the transplant hole to help seedlings get off to a good start. Fill the hole with water and allow it to drain. This will ensure that the soil surrounding the transplant will have adequate moisture.
  2. Transplant only the most healthy and vigorous seedlings. This means the seedlings must have good roots and at least two sets of well-developed, true leaves.
  3. Take special care to handle the transplants. To avoid damaging the roots or stems, handle them gently by the leaves, not the stem. Remove the seedlings with a trowel, taking along a good size root and soil ball. This will help minimize the

“transplant shock” to the seedling.

  1. Except for tomatoes, replant all seedlings at a depth that matches their depth in the seedling container. Tomatoes are an exception to this and can be planted 4 cm or so deeper than they were in the seedling bed. Tomatoes will sprout new roots from the stem and have a stronger, deeper root system.
  2. Space the plants according to the guidelines below.
  3. Press soil firmly around the roots of the transplants and water

lightly to allow soil to settle around the transplants.

Some plants may not be ready to be transplanted yet. Save those and plant them when they are ready.

Happy Planting