Saturday, July 2, 2011

Use of Mid-summer Transplants

While many people think of transplants as only a May start-of-season planting technique, they can also be useful in midsummer for planting crops for fall harvest. In midsummer you don't even need a greenhouse to grow them!

There are always two ways to plant - direct seed or transplants. Mid-July is a rough date to have 50 to 60 day vegetables direct seeded to mature for fall. Using this target date, you can plan whether transplants or direct seeding will best work in your crop scheduling following spring crops.

Perhaps you have a crop growing that won't be harvested in the end of July and direct seeding another would not allow it to mature before frost. Answer is grow transplants. Or perhaps you have difficulties directly seeding the garden because of wind and sun, soil crusting or other physical soil condition, inability to frequently water to germinate seed, garden pests on young seedlings or whatever reason. Transplants may work better for you.

Growing transplants in pots placed on the ground (or bark mulch) as pictured works well. Floating row cover fabric thrown over the pots and tucked under the trays conserves water and helps seeds to germinate. Remove when seedlings have begun to develop true leaves or leave on to protect from birds and insects. Grow for 4 weeks or so and you are ready to gain a jump on the fall harvest season by transplanting into your growing beds.

Photo credit: Trays of pots growing on bark mulch, Kale (bottom) and beets (top) grown as midsummer transplants - both Carl Wilson

1 comment:

  1. Thank you! I had wondered how people got a second round in since many of my plants aren't done to free up space. I'll have my solution for next summer. :)