|How Do I Take Care of my Transplanted Seedlings?|
Newly transplanted seedlings will often droop or wilt. To speed recovery, keep them quite moist and in good light, but out of the direct sun, for two days. Then give filtered sun or half-day sun for two days, after which they should be ready for bright light. If you are growing under fluorescent lights, the transplants can go directly in place, and if the weather is cloudy, you can place your transplants directly on the windowsill. If your plants become tall and spindly, they are not getting enough light.
After seedlings are established, with healthy roots spreading through the growing mix, they will need a drier medium and less frequent, but more concentrated feedings. Let the surface of the growing mix become dry to the touch between waterings (lower layers should still never dry out). Feed once a week using a water-soluble fertilizer.
If plants get too tall before planting time, pinch them back. Simply reach into the center of the plant and nip out the growing tip. Leave plenty of foliage and some branches so growth can continue, but pinch off just above a lower leaf or branch (see diagram). A small pair of pruning shears does a better job than fingers. Several types of plants benefit from pinching while in the transplant stage, especially single- stemmed plants such as snapdragons, dahlias and chrysanthemums, which will be more bushy and colorful if pinched.
NASA Seeds in Space
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