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Northwood seeds

How Big For The Garden

greenmonster714

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#1
The question I keep asking myself is just how big do these seedlings need to be before I can set them out in the garden? I will not be transplanting from the 1020 cells to a larger pot before setting them into the garden. They are getting a little pot bound in the cells but not bad enough to spend the time and money for extra dirt and containers before they are set in their new homes.

These are getting pretty good size. But how long do I wait? The plants on the left side of the picture one in front of the other are White Stem Orinoco. Probably the biggest plants of the whole lot.
20170426_232350.jpg

Another issue I see with my plants is not all of them are growing uniform with others of the same variety. Some appear to be just a little behind. Do I wait till they are all big or go ahead and put them in the ground along with the other more advanced plants in the cell?
20170426_232414.jpg

Maybe another haircut and a week would help? I'm not sure. Any suggestions?
 

Planter

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#2
6-8 leaves they should have. A haircut mainly helps when they start shading each other. For me, the main problem every year are slugs, so I see that I get the seedlings strong and high (leaf clipping is beneficial here, too). Once the growth bud is a bit higher above the ground, chances are better that the plant won't get crippled by slugs, they mostly chew on the trashy leaves underneath then.
I would give the bigger ones a haircut now (and perhaps add a mild fertilizer to the water), wait a week, then harden them off for another week.
 

greenmonster714

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#3
Sounds good Planter. I'll trim today and feed them as well. I see a nice window next week. Only a day of rain. I'd like to set them out on a cloudy day. I was thinking next week anyways. I'd like them as strong as I can get them before the planting into the garden. I've not seen any slugs yet. We set out a lot of our garden yesterday. I'll have to see watch for them this week. In the mean time I'm going to pickup some SlugGo stuff.

Thanks for the info Planter.
 

SmokesAhoy

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#7
I'd say those big ones are ready now, if slugs are an issue put slug bait out now and transplant in a few days.
 

greenmonster714

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#8
I'd say those big ones are ready now, if slugs are an issue put slug bait out now and transplant in a few days.
Thanks for the info Smokes. I've not seen a slug one yet but I'm sure they will show up. I'll have to check out the feed store or wallyworld and get some slug bait just in case. I'm not going to plant them till probably next week anyways. I have to bust up my front yard again with the disc before I can plant. By then they should be responding well to the very light fertilizer and recovered from the haircut I just gave them yesterday.
 

Smokin Harley

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#10
Get some wind (fan) on them to strengthen the stalks. Clip the big leaves to strengthen the root system. Fertilize the day before planting out. I have put mine out at 6 weeks old ,yours should be ready soon
 

SmokesAhoy

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#11
A few of mine are already out in the old established bed that was ready. Look how small and pathetic they look. You'd never know how small they were when transplanted once they take off. I use home depot 72 cell micro trays.
IMG_20170516_191708.jpg
 

SmokesAhoy

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#13
I think I can get away with smaller transplants than the tobacco belt since pest pressure in the early season is so much less than down south. That being said it's painstaking work getting them out of their cells and carefully putting them in the ground.

If I had more room for them I'd grow larger transplants, the difference between planting mine and bigbonners is night and day. Can literally just open a hole, toss them in and close it up, they take a tiny fraction of the time as mine.
 

BigBonner

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#14
Smokes

Our plant has to be a little bigger because of planting with a tobacco setter . Mine has fingers and takes a good size plant . There are carousel tobacco planters that have cups you put plants in and they turn and drop plants . These use smaller plants . Another reason for a bigger plant in large field is that we should run a cultivating tractor through them at 5 to 10 days after planting to get rid of any weeds that get started .
 

deluxestogie

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#15
I find that if the transplants growing in 1020 tray inserts are not ready (not big enough), the root system is not able to hold the square of soil together during the hand transplanting process. When they are ready to go, a push on the bottom of the cell pops the soil/root ball free, and it holds together while positioning it in the hole.

While it's certainly possible to transplant earlier, I agree with Smokes that it's a lot more work. That's why I always clip the seedlings in the trays, until they are not only sturdier, but much easier to handle. Less work = happier Bob.

Bob
 

Chicken

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#16
I start mine in open tray. No cells then at 2 in. I put them in 3 in. Square pots
 

SmokesAhoy

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#17
I was thinking of trying that next year chicken. Using those cardboard square dividers (or making my own to fit) and just using the 1020 tray with dome. Could pop a couple holes about half an inch up to be sure they don't drown.
 
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