Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Starter Solutions For Transplanting

By Keith Markensen

Whether you purchase or grow your transplants, well-grown 6 to 8 week old plants are best for the majority of these vegetables, except celery which should have a longer period of growth. The transplants should appear stalky and well grown showing every sign of receiving ample light. Tomato transplants will be about 6 to 8 inches high. Sometimes these transplants are sold in Hats without separation. Although they may be more expensive, plants grown in flats in individual containers like peat-pots, will transplant best and get off to a quicker start.

Bean seeds do not germinate successfully until the soil has warmed up somewhat. So there is little advantage in starting them too early. They are very tender and easily damaged by frost.

Some transplants benefit by watering them in with a weak fertilizer solution. These are known as starter solutions. Some companies sell some of their high analysis fertilizers in packages specifically for such use. Follow the manufacturers directions in using the fertilizer in this way.

Sweet corn addicts find plenty of varieties to suit their taste in home garden planting. Some prefer the old fashioned strains because of their sweetness and tenderness; others prefer the higher yields of the many hybrid sweet corn varieties available commercially.

Gardeners in the extreme north of the western region, particularly in the higher altitudes, are not quite so fortunate. The season is not long enough to mature these varieties successfully each year. To help fill these needs, earlier maturing kinds have found a place in some seed catalogues.

Glad Planting Time

May is the month to plant gladiolus corms out west. It is well to plant any time after the leaves start coming out on trees and shrubs. You can choose from a variety of best shade trees. This varies from late April until late May, depending on locality. Some plantings may be made at two week intervals up until the last of June to insure blossoms until frost. A better way to get succession of bloom is to select varieties whose blooming dates vary from early to late in the season. In general, smaller size corms bloom later, so planting corms in a variety of sizes will also aid in bloom succession.

Soaking corms in fungicide dips aids in reducing glad diseases. Plant #1 size corms from four to six inches deep (deeper in a light sandy soil) and smaller corms somewhat shallower, according to their size.

Dont plant dahlia tubers until danger of killing frosts is past. Plant the tubers so the eyes or buds are about four inches below the ground level. Make sure, when planting dahlia tubers, that a bud is present at the top of the tuber, otherwise no plant will form. Large clumps can be cut into a number of smaller divisions as long as one makes sure that each division has a bud at the base of the crown.

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