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Old 05-30-2008, 10:11 AM   #1
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Transplanting seedlings

I currently live in southern Georgia; the gardening zone is 8. However I'll be moving in the near future, and where I'll be living then has a gardening zone of 9 or 10.

I'd like to start a vegetable garden. I would start by just growing vegetables from seed and then transplanting them. My questions are what size pots should transplants be started in? Peat pots, I assume? I also heard that when seedlings have their first set of true leaves they should be transplanted. Roughly how long does this normally take to occur? When they're ready to be transplanted to a bigger pot, what size pot should I transfer them to? After they've outgrown that pot, should they be hardened off and then transplanted outside, or to a bigger pot?

Most seed packets I have say to start plants indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost date. I assume that you don't keep the seedlings you start from seed in the peat pots the entire 6-8 weeks? How long should they stay in peat pots (how many weeks) before they should be transplanted to a bigger pot?

I could really use clarification with this. Also I've heard some vegetables just don't transplant well. Can vegetables that don't transplant still be started in pots and then transplanted outside or should they should they just be planted where they'll grow permanently? If they can be grown in pots and then transplanted, I assume they should be in a bigger pot and stay there until they're ready to be transplanted. What size pot please?

Which plants transplant well and which don't? I heard squash of any kind (cucumbers, zucchini, summer squash, pumpkin), melons (watermelon and cantaloupe) and eggplant don't transplant well. What about sugar snap peas and green beans? I think they don't transplant well but I'm not sure.

I'm sorry this is a long post but I'm a newbie gardener and could really use advice regarding this matter.

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Old 05-30-2008, 10:34 AM   #2
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You need to talk to the Extension office in your new county. They can give you all this info. Just google "county name, state, Extension."

It is very late for starting gardens in the deep south--most veggies don't do well in extreme heat. You might want to wait til you get to your new house and plan on a fall/winter garden.
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Old 05-30-2008, 10:50 AM   #3
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Is the permanent spot for the veggies in pots or in the ground? I would also wait until a cooler time, however your climate is warm enough where you could just start them in the ground and skip the smaller pots.

To avoid transplant problems if you go that route however, I have one of these.

PotMaker - Seed Starting - Burpee



the whole little pot goes in the ground and you don't have to disturb the little plants so much.
I swear by it!
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Old 05-30-2008, 07:01 PM   #4
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Unfortunately I cannot afford to purchase the little planters you're referring to, because of finances. I do appreciate the suggestion though. Regarding contacting the local extension office, I've tried that. They said they'd help by sending me some information that would help a beginner gardener via e-mail, and the e-mail was never sent. I talked to one person and that person just referred me to another person.......and I never really received the information I was looking for.

Well the permanent spot for them would be in the ground. I would just be using pots to start them. How long does it usually take for a seedling to get their first true leaves (as an estimate please, I understand that you probably won't have an exact figure). Only thing I want to know is when they're ready to be transplanted, what size pots do you transplant the vegetable seedlings to? Basically you start them in a peat pot, but then they outgrow it, so then what?

I would basically just like to get an early start on my warm weather crops.
Is it feasible for plants that don't transplant well to be transplanted? By these I'm referring to melons, squash, and eggplants. If it's feasible for them to be transplanted what size pot should they be started in and how many weeks should you grow them in the pot before they're transplanted? The only exception would be tomatoes. I heard they can grow in 5 gallon pots, so that's where I'll be growing them.
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Old 05-30-2008, 07:38 PM   #5
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You can start seeds in a shallow wooden box...loose soil..lots of sand...when they start putting on secondary leaves transplant to....empty yogurt cups, the little small paper milk cartons...anything you can find..... fill with a good potting soil...Poke a few holes in the bottom for good drainage...When the last frost is over...set them out in your garden...Check around...the little peat pots are not that expensive!

Have Fun!
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Old 05-30-2008, 08:51 PM   #6
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Unfortunately I don't have a shallow wooden box. Could I just start them in peat pots? I do have an egg carton that held 18 eggs in it. Could I use that to start my seedlings in from seed?

Also you say transplant them to little yogurt containers. My question is, I would still prefer to use planters. What size planter is roughly the equivalent size of the yogurt containers you're recommending as planters (2", 4", etc.) The reason I specify inches is because that is how hardware stores and Walmart sell the planters; they specify the diameter in inches, they don't say how deep the pots are (1 gallon, 2 gallons, etc.)
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Old 05-30-2008, 09:08 PM   #7
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The yogurt cups I refer to are approximately 3" wide at the top...2 3/4" deep. I think egg cartons would be to shallow...you could sprout seed in them, but would soon have to transplant....Yes! you can start the seed in peat pots...then go straight into the ground when they are ready, and weather permitting....I would look for peat pots about the size of a 6oz. styrofoam coffee cup...This size would give your seedlings plenty of room to develope a good root system....

Good luck!
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Old 05-31-2008, 12:03 AM   #8
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Well that gives me an idea of the depth and the diameter (in inches) of a yogurt cup. What planter would be the equivalent size of a yogurt cup, with the depth size (1/2 gallon, quart size, 1 gallon, 2 gallons, etc.) and with the diameter in inches (1", 2", 10", 8", etc.)

I heard that if you're starting from seed, you start with peat pots, and then when the plants develop their first set of true leaves you transplant them to a bigger planter size and just put them outside to harden them off.

My question is, what size planter should I transfer them to when they've outgrown the peat pot and how many weeks should the remain in the bigger planter? With the 6-8 weeks that you start plants from seed, do the seedlings stay in the peat pot for the whole 6-8 weeks, or are they transplanted from the peat pots to a bigger planter?

I know that in Florida it's really hot and most plants don't do well because of the summer heat. However there are some veggies that love warm weather (they thrive in it). I heard those are tomatoes, eggplants, cucumbers, watermelon, and peppers. Can they be grown in summer in Florida, or would the heat be too harsh for them to survive?
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Old 05-31-2008, 12:19 AM   #9
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You don't need to transplant them from peat pots; peat pots are intended to be put directly into the ground when the seedlings are big enough - they will just break down in the soil.

The plants you mention should do well in Florida, I would think, since they are native to the southwest and Mexico (except watermelon, I think), but it's too late now to start from seed to plant in Florida. They need to develop a strong root system before being planted in the ground, and they do that best in the early spring, before it gets too hot.

Also, they transplant fine - many people (including me) buy peppers and tomatoes from garden centers and transplant into the ground, so there should be no difference between that and transplanting your own plants grown from seed.
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Old 05-31-2008, 07:31 AM   #10
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Watch the video...it's really a simple process....

Florida is one of the major commercial growing areas in the U. S. for fruits and vegetables...You will have no problem growing the items you mentioned there.

Good Luck!!!!!!!!
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