Ask a Question forum: transplanting seedlings

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Name: david sevitt
jerusalem israel
Mar 19, 2016 12:59 AM CST
my sunflower and sweet corn have reached 10 cm height.they are growing in a very narrow planter(specially for seeds)its 5cm\5cm and 20 cm deep .it is like an upside down piramid.very narrow.i tried to transplant a sunflower seedling but it fell appart.the soil came away.whats the best way to transplant?is it right to let it grow many roots and then to stop watering it so it is easy to pull out?is that not too stressfull for the plant?
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
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Mar 19, 2016 1:32 PM CST
David, hate to say it but both corn and sunflowers are not great candidates for transplanting because they put down big, deep roots pretty fast. They grow so fast, most people just seed them where they will grow to maturity. There's not much to be gained by seeding them early, then risking transplant shock will kill them when you move them.

Yes, it's important not to disturb the roots too much, if you can. So planting in a container that the transplant will come out of easily is quite important. I use a dinner fork, or sometimes a fork and a large spoon, and slide them down either side of the plant pot, then "grab". Make sure the transplant is moist but not wet when you pull it out. If you can get it out with a root ball intact that will be best.

Other types of plants make a whole lot of fine roots that hold the soil around them, making them transplant much more easily.

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: david sevitt
jerusalem israel
Mar 20, 2016 7:42 AM CST
thankyou for your reply iwill sow new seesd in there direct spot.

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