Posted in Behind the Scenes, Oh noes!, Plants

Transfer seedlings: too dried out or too much handling?

In my head, I know it’s one thing to have what you need on hand and at least in an easy to grab place.  It’s another thing to go a step further and do as much as you can within reason before starting something.  Somehow, such foreknowledge slipped through the sieve of my brain and now I’m trying to salvage some transplants as a result.

One thing I noticed when I was trying to transfer cilantro seedlings from the herb grow kit was that the ones I got to last were noticeable more dried out by the time they were moved to their new home.  I wouldn’t say they were brittle or outright limp, but tired looking.  I do not know what the correct term for such a circumstance might be, so I’m doing my best to describe them as I remember them looking then.

You may recall I was short a water only mister at the time, and foolishly hoped once they weren’t being fussed over, they’d be fine.  Maybe I should have dribbled some water from my fingers on to where I had them waiting to be thinned out and moved.

Now, the later ones are likely dead.  All have flopped over, and some look parched beyond saving.  I’m going to give them one more day of checking the soil and misting if it’s dry, but I think I’ve lost 24 of them.  It could be argued that I would have pulled that many from thinning anyway, but it still feels like at least some of this likely loss could have been prevented.

Thinking back, I did not have all the containers ready with soil inside each cell.  So what little time it took for me to prep the four six packs may have been no small part towards the seedlings’ possible doom.

There's a potaetoe/potahtoe joke there somewhere.

I don’t remember why I had the sole 4 pack already prepped for transplant (as seen in this image I posted before), but those 4 seem to be doing fine.  Again, they went into soil quite quickly compared to the rest.  They also weren’t as tangled up with others, so that could also be in part of why they seem fine.  Less handling made them happier?  Please feel free to chime in below if you have two copper on this matter.

I’ll see how the 24 are tomorrow.  If they remain the same, I will clear them out and write a note to future me to try to prevent this happening again.  There are plenty of new seedlings coming out of that batch of seeds to replace them that also are overcrowding the original pot I dumped all the seeds into because I didn’t know if they were worth anything.

Why I thought it was ok to dump the entire packet in there instead of just trying a few like I have done with other experiments, I can’t say.  I can blame it on my being sick and brain tired, but what’s done is done, and I have no time machine to go back and fix this.

If any of the other herb seeds germinate, hopefully whatever I manage to learn with transplanting these seedlings I can then apply to those so I have less loss overall.

Herb Grow Kit Posts

Care to share thoughts on this?