Calvert Street – Transplanting Seedlings

Hello Garden Friends,

This Friday, I told the students there would be no lesson today. Some of the students were heartbroken, some nonchalantly moved on, others were confused. However, everyone was excited when I told them that instead we would be spending the day working and transplanting seedlings throughout the garden.

While there was no formal lesson, it was an excellent opportunity to talk about several things. As we cleared the beds of weeds we talked about competition for resources. When we amended the soil with compost we talked about the importance of giving back to the Earth. And finally, when it was time to put the plants in the ground, I taught them the proper technique to bury a seedling in the soil. First we tickle the roots and break up the root ball just enough to encourage the plant to search its new environment and get established. Next, we remove any dead or diseased leaves so the plant can focus its energy into the most productive leaves. We dug holes making sure the plants were at soil level; not so deep that their roots would rot during a flood and not so shallow as they would burn or dry out in the sun. Lastly, we watered them in to give the plants a drink and help the soil settle around the roots of each newly translated seedling. I hope the advice I gave the kids helps you too!

Until next time, grow on!
-Jeff Mailes