Saturday, November 5, 2011

How to Transplant Tomato and Okra Seedlings

Last month (October), the weather has been rainy and stormy that it proved to be bad for my tomato and okra seedlings which needed to be under direct sunlight in order to grow well. They were also crowding in their little recycled pots so I thought of transplanting them. Some survived and some didn't. Here's how it happened.

Transplanting Tomato Seedlings

Tomato seedlings are more resilient than okra. Once their stems grow about 3 inches, and they get to have more than two true leaves, and they seem crowded in their little pots, they can be transplanted to a bigger and deeper individual pots.

My tomato seedlings weren't looking so good last month.

So I prepared another recycled pot (ice cream bins) with holes underneath for proper drainage, put in the soil, dug a hole in the middle, deep and wide enough for the tomato seedling to fit in. Then I used a stick and plastic spoon to help uproot the seedling out of its old pot, careful enough not to damage the roots. I set it into the new pot with the fresh soil and buried the uprooted seedling until just an inch below its leaves. It's okay to bury most of its stem because the stem will generate root structure after some time to aid its proper growth. Then I watered it and placed it under sunlight.

My re-potted tomato seedlings, still so small and fragile.

Almost a month has passed and this is what my tomato seedlings look like now, at least those that survived.

Thank God for the sunny weather the last few weeks! My tomato seedlings seem to be growing fine.

Transplanting Okra Seedlings

Okra seedlings aren't as strong and resilient as tomato seedlings. They tend to get traumatized more during the transplanting process so I lost several seedlings two weeks after I transplanted them. Tsk, tsk. The right thing to do would have been to plant the okra seeds in peat pots because it's easier to just transplant the whole seedling while still inside the peat pots because peat pots decompose in time. But since I first planted my okra seeds in plastic ice cream bins, I had to dig them up very carefully before transplanting the seedling to a bigger pot.

Anyway, you will know that you need to transplant your okra seedling when they start becoming too leggy. This means that they are lacking sunlight (which was true in my case) and they need some more room to grow.

My okra seedlings looking too leggy due to lack of sunlight.

I was running out of bins I could recycle at that time so I placed 4 seedlings in one bigger pot and made sure they were a few centimeters apart.

My frail okra seedlings after getting transplanted.

I had two bins with 4 transplanted seedlings each. Only one bin survived and now here's my okra seedlings:

I'm learning all this as I go along. So if you want to go through the same process I did, you can visit my other posts on how to plant vegetable seeds. Happy veggie planting!

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