The Q&A Archives: Transplanting Seedlings from Seed Starter to Potting Soil

Question: Could you please tell me how to transplant seedlings from seed starter to potting soil before hardening off and planting outdoors? I started the seeds in a seed starter that looks kind of like vermiculite and today I purchased potting soil. How do I go about doing the transplanting?

Answer: The less you disturb the root system during transplanting, the better. I'm not sure what kind of seedling pot you used, but try to loosen the soil a little by squeezing the pot. Next invert it in your hand with the seedling stalk between your fingers, and with the other hand, pull the pot off. If the pot is not pliable, insert a butter knife around the edge, as you would to remove a cake from the pan, and invert the pot as mentioned above. If there are many seedlings growing in a flat, loosen the soil with a knife, and gently move each seedling with a chunk of soil around its roots to the new pot. If the seedlings are rootbound, (the roots fill the pot in a tangle), you can spread the root system out a little bit when you put it in the next pot. Hope this helps!

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