Select the largest seedling that are growing in the seed flat. The smaller ones never seem to outgrow their slower start.
Remove a group of seedlings from the flat. Gently separate a seedling , holding onto the leaves only and by pulling it free from the group. Leaves can regrow and stems that are crushed can remain damaged.
Make a small hole deep enough to hold the root system. Set the plant with the crown of the roots at the average soil height. Compress the soil mass against the root system and encourage the plant to sit upward. More soil may be needed to support the plant. Water well when all seedling are planted and adjust plants again if required.
I use two sizes of transplant flats. Generally either for space or quantity.
Typical sizes are 6x22 or 11x22.
I like to plants in rows of 4 and 8 in length, giving a total of 32 plant. More and less intensity is fine.
Keep the plants in a greenhouse. I recommend using a heat mat if it is early in the year to help the more tender plant move ahead quickly.
Check in with you plant friends daily. The sun can dry them out in a greenhouse quickly. Water only as needed. Plants do not like to be either too wet or dry.
A plant is ready to be planted out when the root systems are well established. Place fingers around the stem and up against the soil mass to hold and not loose control of the plant. Flip pots upside down and pull off the pot by gently squeezing and or tapping and lifting it upwards and away from the soil . Look to see that the root system has reached the outer edges of the soil mass. This plant is ready for a new home
Cutting Tender Perennials
Half hardy stems of Scented Geranium "Peacock" ready to use for cuttings.
Snap or pull off 10 cm stems that do not have any soft new growth. Leaving a heel or torn piece of stem encourages root growth.
Dip heel end into a rooting powder (if you are using one) and insert the stem into a flat or pot containing a sterilized mix. Cuttings do not need food and or compost until they have established roots and are visibly growing.
Firm the cuttings in and water well. At this time of year a heated bench or mat is needed to establish good roots quickly.
Chard "Bright Lights" transplants
For Fresh Fall Greens
Chard "Bright Lights" ready for transplanting into the greenhouse