How to Transplant Vegetable Plants

by Stephanie Suesan Smith on February 14, 2011

If you do vegetable gardening, chances are you buy some plants from nurseries or other growers.  Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants are the most commonly bought starts.  Just because someone else started them, doesn’t mean you can stick them anywhere and get a good crop.

Transplants should be planted with the same care as seeds.  That means that you prepare the garden plot, make sure there is water, add necessary fertilizer, and keep caring for the plant as if it had grown from seed.

For example, vegetables need a minimum of six hours of sun.  They can certainly be planted in flower beds along the house.  However, make sure that those beds get the six hours of sun needed or the plant will die.  The front of my house almost never gets sun, so very little grows there.  The back does get sun, but I never go there and any plants put there would be neglected.

That said, dig a hole a bit bigger than the plant you want to put in it.  Hold the plant in the hole, with the crown level with the ground.  The crown is where the top meets the bottom.  There is usually a noticeable knot and the soil should reach just to that knot.  Fill in the hole with the dirt that came out of it.  If you put super soil mix in the hole instead of the dirt that came out of it, one of two things will happen.  First, the roots will not spread out, but will circle to stay ing the rich dirt.  This will eventually girdle the plant.  It isn’t such a problem with vegetable plants that live a short time, but is definately a problem with trees, shrubs, and long lived plants.

The other problem super soil in the dirt around the plant causes is that the plant grows like crazy and has no vegetable.  All those rich nutrients cause the plant to spend all its energy on growing and leaves none for reproduction.  Since vegetables are really seed carriers, if there is no reproduction, there is no vegetable.

After you plant your transplant, water it good so the surrounding soil does not suck all the moisture out of it.  From there, you treat it like a sprouted seed and grow it normally.  Hopefully it will give you a good start to a good crop.

Gardenbookfrontcoverthumbnail For more help gardening, buy my book, Preparing A Vegetable Garden From The Ground Up
Available in print or ebook from or other retailers, this book walks you from choosing the site of your garden all the way through what to do after the harvest. Buy a copy for yourself or a friend today! 

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

louis vuitton borse February 17, 2011 at 6:47 am

Whether you have started your vegetable seeds yourself or purchased your plants from a garden center you will need to transplant the plants into your garden. It is very important to wait until the threat of frost has passed before you put any plants in your garden.


Stephanie Suesan Smith February 17, 2011 at 7:01 am

That is not true. Some plants can tolerate frost and need the longer growing season that planting them a month or so before the end of the frost gives them. Those plants usually cannot tolerate heat.


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