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How deep to plant fresh seedlings.

Posted by otis11 8a (My Page) on
Sat, Sep 21, 13 at 16:25

My oldest seedlings are 6 weeks old and all have different shape, size and form. With the medium sinking over time, I kept topping the cells and the seedlings are buried almost 1/4 up the length of the bare stem, some even half way.
This morning I moved several seedlings that got too crowded into cells with some non-sprouted seeds and I noticed one tiny root on each of 2 seedlings growing out of the side of a stem, above where the main root starts. With time and care, I think this tiny root could develop into something nice, or not. Roots develop under the surface; we can try some manipulation but IMHO everything else is nature.
Has anyone done anything other than the bottle cap trick with root development in DR?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: How deep to plant fresh seedlings.

I would think that burying them too much could cause issues with collar root or other? Maybe someone else has more info on this?

Sometimes hard to see exactly with the seedlings as to where the soil level was when transplanting. I hold them at the point of soil line and gently lift with end of spoon and repot to same level.
A little bit neurotic maybe, but works for me.
Hope all your seedlings grow well for you.

RE: How deep to plant fresh seedlings.

Oh yea lol TONS of unspeakable stuff. I've done severe to mild root pruning, pinching off tops, arranging the roots on and around lava rocks, knots, and even deliberately tangling roots of 2 or more seedlings. I did this when they were about 2 to 3 months old. The most disruptive thing to happen to my seedlings was not even the root torture but the move into gritty mix. They're fine now. I don't know what is happening under the soil line. I plan to leave them alone for one season.

When you dig your seedlings up, you will notice the distinct difference between the trunk and the root, which will be significantly lighter green, almost yellow. That's your soil line. That's what I'd do anyway.

These 3 below have tangled roots underneath. I tried to give them enough space for when their caudices grow bigger. I just did that to save space and to find out what they will grow into. It will give them character. (If all that character doesn't kill them first, so Calvin said).

Have fun!


RE: How deep to plant fresh seedlings.

""Hope all your seedlings grow well for you. "" Thank you Rick, so do I.
Thanks also for mentioning collar root/root collar. Never heard of it so I had to google. The seedling mix I am using is turface - sand - bark/coir so it's still pretty gritty and enable gas exchange. I have to remember that when I use less gritty mix in the future as an experiment. Kirk's idea to use transparent "pots" is excellent. To mimic a real pot, I might wrap them in black plastic. Just pull the plastic back for a peek.

Pagan: are those 1½" x 1½" cells you're using? I'm pressed for space with my seed trays and not sure how close I dare sow them. I read somewhere they're supposed to be 1" apart but I have done 4 seeds (Obesums) in the 1½ x 2¼" cells, sometimes even 5; and 3 seeds of Arabicums since they're much bigger.
The first sowing was 1 seed per 1¼x1¼, that was before the bug got me. Then I ran out of space real quick, lol.
""The most disruptive thing to happen to my seedlings was not even the root torture but the move into gritty mix"" So, what happened. If you posted this before, just point me to the right direction.

RE: How deep to plant fresh seedlings.

Hi Otis

The seedlings in the photo are actually in 3-inch growing pots--one of my turface experiments. There are, maybe 2 or 3 lava rocks under that on which all three seedlings are perched (okay, maybe there are a couple more experiments going on in that one pot hehe). All 3 of these little things are actually about 4 months--I keep them short and compact.

The short of it is this: when you move the seedlings into the radically much more airy gritty mix, water the beejeezus out of them. I'll email you a link.


oh, hang on, you're right, otis. I just saw that. those are the ones in the 1.5-inch cells. these germinated in a Spring Mix salad box though. I moved them to those cells because the 6-cell tray takes up less space than the deli containers i normally use for potting individual seedlings.

My brain stops working after 10 pm

This post was edited by fakechuchi on Sat, Sep 21, 13 at 23:12

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