We’re all about successful gardening experiences at Seedsheet, so much so that we pack extra seeds into our pods to ensure strong seedling germination. This means that frequently, pods need to be thinned to eliminate the competition between seedlings so they can mature quickly for a bountiful harvest. But once you thin your seedlings, often you are left with an abundance of healthy little seedlings that are a shame to just discard in the compost. If your seedlings have a nice root structure, they can be transplanted quickly into a fresh container with soil to cultivate an auxiliary tomato/basil/squash/pepper/sunflower garden to enjoy double (or triple!) the harvest.
Follow the process below after thinning the necessary seedlings from your original garden.
- First, set up a fresh container with fertilized potting soil and water the soil well to prep for transplants.
- Determine where your seedlings will be planted and make a divot about 1-2 inches deep (depending on the size of the seedling).
- Insert the seedling, root-end down and gently surround the stem of the seedling with soil, patting to secure.
An exception to this process is tomato transplants, which should be planted deeper than other varieties; about 4-6 inches, just below a large set of leaves. When looking at a tomato seedling stalk, fine hairs are present all along the stem. These small hairs actually have the potential to become roots when placed in the ground. So, the deeper they are planted, the stronger the root system, and ultimately, the more nutrients can be pumped through the plant to create bigger, better, more flavorful fruit.
Note that transplanting is a stressful process for seedlings and transplant failure is not uncommon.