Transplanting seedlings
Answered by: Ginny
Question from: Fay
Posted on: August 10, 2010

I live in Orange County, California and my mom brought some herb seeds over for me from Iran. The herbs are basil, mint, cilantro, green onions, radishes, tarragon. I planted the seeds in jiffy discs and after about 2 weeks, when they were about an inch or so high, I transferred them into tiny terracotta pots.

My question is, was is too soon? Were they too delicate and small to be transferred? And if not, isn’t a full sun for 6-8 hours a day too harsh for them at this stage?

Jiffy discs and pots are an excellent medium for starting seeds. They are easily popped into your next size pot or planter with no risk of transplant shock. I’m assuming that you thinned out your seedlings, keeping one healthy one per jiffy pot. If you did not, and instead transplanted all the seedlings, then there are concerns. As a general rule, it is best to wait until the seedlings have developed their first set of true leaves before you transplant them. That said, at one inch high, as long as your seedlings were sturdy and not leggy, they should be successful. The next tricky step is keeping the seedlings happy as you move them outdoors. They will benefit from 6-8 hours of sunlight...eventually. But be cautious of the transition from low light conditions indoors to full sun outdoors. Keep your terracotta pots initially in a protected area, such as under a veranda or shady tree. Slowly accustom the seedlings by moving them gradually to a brighter area. They will need to be monitored for watering as well. I do have a note of caution regarding your seed list. I’m not clear on what type of mint you are growing, but be aware that mint does not grow true from seed. It should be propagated from cuttings. This also applies to French Tarragon.

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