The Q&A Archives: Transplanting Extra-Large Seedlings

Question: I started my tomatoes, tomatillos, broccoli, eggplants, and chilis 12 weeks before normal planting time (last frost). I have already replanted every thing to 4" pots and everything is growing like crazy. By the time I'm ready to plant, they will all be in one gallon nursery pots and quite large. My question is if these "superseedlings" will transplant successfully - I have the room and adequete flourescent lighting to nurture them along, and in the past always purchased one gallon size tomatoes at planting time. How about the other plants? This is my first attempt at starting my entire garden from seed and these plants look 100 times healthier (stocky and perfectly green) than any seedling I ever purchased!! This whole thing is partly your fault - my seeds arrived way too quickly! I live in a region 5/6. The tender stuff is planted a week before Mother's Day. Scott Trumble Layton, UT

Answer: If you can keep your seedlings -- by now large plants! -- growing under plenty of light, you should be fine in the garden. If the plants get out of hand and become too large for your growing area, you might try setting out some plants a little early and use a protective row cover. Fluorescent lights, though the best artificial lights, provide nowhere near the intensity of direct sunlight, so you may find that your crops don't necessarily mature any faster than had you started the plants just 8 weeks before transplant time.

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