Best containers for transplanting seedlings?

General    PA

Can anyone here recommend the best type of containers to use to transplant seedlings into my veggie garden? I’m planting quite a lot of plants this year and I’d like something a bit more cost effective than the peat pots I used last year for my more sensitive plants.

Posted by: Marsha Anderson (5 points) Marsha Anderson
Posted: February 21, 2013


Soil blockers are a very easy way to go. Something like this would be perfect:


You can also buy soil blockers. Another good idea is to make recycled newspaper pots:


One more option would be to simply not transplant - I've found that many of my plants grow faster and healthier when I direct seed them, rather than pre-start them. The transplanting shock, plus the hardening off take their toll. If you have a long enough growing season, that's one more way you could go.

All the best - and good luck.

Posted by: David Goodman (67 points) David Goodman
Posted: February 22, 2013

Marsha Anderson commented,
Thanks David, the newspaper idea is great!! I like to get stared indoors as I get antsy waiting to get out gardening again :-)
over 7 years ago.

David Goodman commented,
"I get antsy waiting to get out gardening again"

I totally and utterly understand that. Plant away!

over 7 years ago.

I recently heard this idea for cucurbits (cukes, melons, squashes). Line a green plastic berry basket with newspaper and fill with soil. Add seeds. When it's time to plant, you just plant the whole thing into the garden. The newspaper will become compost, and the roots will grow through the holes in the berry basket. The advantage of doing this is that cucurbits don't like to have their roots disturbed. (I'm going to try it this year, planting both with and without the berry basket.) My gardens are a few miles away, so I like to start my cucurbits in a cold frame where I can keep an eye on them.

I used peat pots one year and didn't like them. They seemed to be too wet or too dry, and it was harder to know if the plant was getting the right amount of water. I've since heard that it's a good idea to tear off the top edge of peat pots when you plant so that it's not sticking above the soil line and wicking water away from the seedling.

Another alternative to peat pots (but not more cost effective!) is Cow Pots -- made out of composted manure and made to be planted in the ground where it slowly feeds the seedling, too.

And someone in my garden network makes flats from scrap lumber, with hardware cloth stapled to the base, lined with newspaper. Transplanting still involves some root disturbance: you're not pulling the seedlings out of a container, but rather scooping a handful of soil along with the seedling.

Posted by: Tanya in the Garden (128 points) Tanya in the Garden
Posted: April 4, 2013

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