Growing Your Own Vegetables: Part 2- Planting the Seedlings

Growing Vegetables

If you didnt see part one, view it here. It’s still not too late to start growin’!

Now that our seeds have sprouted in the plastic bags, it’s time to plant them in small pots. You will be replanting them again into a bigger space or container later down the line. To me, this is the scariest part of the process, although it’s extremely easy. I always fear that I am going to be too rough and break the roots and they won’t grow.

If there’s one piece of advice I can give you for this: Be gentle, but don’t worry so much like I do. Every article I read makes it sound like it’s SO easy to kill them, but in reality, most plants are quite resillient and will bounce back-to a certain extent. Like I said, it is important to be gentle, and try to keep their roots in tact, but it doesn’t have to be like brain surgery.

Here are a few things you need to know: you need VERY soft soil, you may want to purchase starter soil. It’s really cheap-I think this bag was $2. It needs to be soft because the roots are stil so small and fragile, you want them to be able to grow easily. Secondly, the soil needs to be damp. You basically want to keep them in the same environment you had them in before. Damp, warm, but now incorporate some sunshine into it. If you put the seedlings in first, and then wet the soil, they will float right to the top and all of your hard work will be ruined.

Now, here’s what you’ll need.

+Starter soil, or very soft soil

+ Small planters

+ Water

+ Plant markers

Firstly, fill your pots almost to the top. Once you water them, the soil will pack down significantly,but that’s okay, as long as there are a few inches of dirt for the roots to grow into. If not, add more soil once its dampened and repeat.

Now all you need to do is carefully unfold the paper towel. You should see little white roots growing themselves into the paper towel with green seedlings on top. You want to gently grab the seedlings somewhere in the center, and pull them off. Pull too close to the top, they’ll probably break off. Too close to the bottom, same thing.

Growing Vegetables

Here are the romaine seedlings. Funny looking, huh?

Growing Vegetables

Here are the cucumber seedlings. The funniest thing is that they already smell strongly like cucumber! (Go figure 😉 )

Make a tiny dent in one of your soil pots, and place the seedlings roots into the soil. You can gently press the roots into the soil if that’s easier. I placed a few in each pot, but keep in mind that by doing this you may need to thin it out and remove some later. I just wanted to put as many as I could just in case some didn’t grow. I’ll show all of this in a post when the time comes.

Growing Vegetables

If your seedlings look a little droopy, don’t worry! In the back of my head I was like, oh no, I ruined them, they’re not happy. Wait until you see the next photo from one day in the sunshine…..

Growing Vegetables

They instantly perked up, and actually grew a little bit! I just placed them in my window. It wasn’t direct sunlight for most of the day, and they were still very happy. It has been about 3 days since I replanted them, and they are still growing and growing!

Growing Vegetables

So, this will be the last step for a week or two. Now, all you have to do is give them a little water, sunshine, and warmth. Once they get too big for the pot, we do the last step. Transplanting them again into a garden or planter box!

You may ask, how often should I water them? Well, Its hard to say exactly. At first, you might want to use a spray bottle to dampen the soil, because pouring water directly on them is a little harsh and knocks them around since their roots aren’t firmly grown into the soil yet. Just check daily and make sure it’s damp. They want that same environment as the paper towel. Damp, but not soaked.

As I said earlier, I will be giving an update again in a week or so, showing you the progress and possibly removing some of the seedlings if the pot gets too crowded.

Please don’t hesitate to ask if you have questions. I will try my best to answer!

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