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Vorguen
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transplanting help

hello, i am getting to the point with some basils i might have to transplant them, they are starting to grow their third set of true leaves... when do i transplant them?

also another problem is when i try to transplant seedlings i usually feel like i mess up, i feel like i break some of the roots and don't get all of them, i don't know how to transplant the plant without destroying some of their roots...

also i have three basils in the same pot that are extremely healthy looking they are about 3-4 inches apart so will definitely have to be moved, but all three seedlings took up extremely well and are growing excellently something i havent had much success with...

are they far apart enough i can transplant all of them? and how would i do it without messing up their roots

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rainbowgardener
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Yes, it sounds like now would be about time to transplant them and yes you can still transplant the ones that are in the same pot.

I just take a straight, flat plant label stick (since I have a bunch of those lying around). Insert it into the soil a little ways out from the seedling and push it all the way down. Then lift up the stick gently, so you are lifting the plant up from the bottom, from underneath the roots, not pulling it from the top. Spoon would probably work too. Have the soil all ready in the new location, with hole already made and just move the seedling immediately in. Works fine for me. Can't say I don't break a few root hairs, but not enough to bother the plant. My plants don't wilt or show any transplant shock when done like this.
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Vorguen
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okay perfect... today we added a layer of semi-composted leaves to the bottom of one of our pots on our basils because the plant was getting big and we had the pot halfway with soil.

i hope it helps the plant out

lily51
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Don't know how big of a container these were started in or if in a flat.
Transplanting into cells to let the roots get well-established is very helpful, then plant into a larger pot or outside when the weather is sure not to get cold again.

Most plants can be transplanted into a cell-pack or small peat pot when they get their first set of true leaves. As your basils grow, pinch back the top to encourage branching, as most plants do best by this. Also, basil can be pinched back more than once. The prevents stemmy, leggy plants that have no width.

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Vorguen
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How do I pinch them? and at what stage of their development? because right now they are barely getting their third set of true leaves...

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Kisal
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Grasp the stem between your thumb and forefinger, then use your fingernails to cut through the stem. You can use a scissors or small pruner if you prefer. Make the cut about 1/4 of an inch, or a little less, above a node. The node is the swollen part of the branch where the leaves emerge, or where side branches emerge from the main stem. If you pinch off the tip of the central stem, the plant will stay shorter, but become bushier. :)
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Vorguen
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what exactly is a node? is there any way you can show me with a picture?


also.. my basils aren't growing leaves from anywhere but the top, and they seem way too young to cut


let me get a pic going

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Vorguen
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[img]https://i82.photobucket.com/albums/j254/Vorguen/IMG00105-20110326-1250.jpg[/img]

the basil there isnt growing tiny leaves, thats actually an oregano right behind it lol

[img]https://i82.photobucket.com/albums/j254/Vorguen/IMG00103-20110326-1249.jpg[/img]


those are my basils, i had a few oreganos accidently sprout in there and they did well so im going to try to transplant them too, i have another parsley separated but it seems to be doing well, it made a branch already and by itself

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Kisal
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I wouldn't pinch them yet. Wait until they're a bit taller. I usually start pinching plants when they're about 4 to 6 inches tall. At that size, you can remove leaves and branches without harm to the plant. It also makes it easier to see what you're doing. :)

Here's a link to a YouTube video that might help you:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9RVKqXYWQI&feature=related
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

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Vorguen
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oh okay, when they get that tall what part of the plant do i pinch off?

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Kisal
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I usually pinch off the top of the main stem, taking it back maybe an inch or two. Then, I'll pinch off the tips of all the side branches ... not a whole lot, just the newest emerging leaves on the tip of each branch. You can take them back closer to the main stem if you like, but I usually leave at least 2 sets of leaves on each branch.

Did you watch the video? :?:
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I'd wait a bit before pinching back. The node is the space between the leaves or buds. Let the plants get a bit taller, then trim back to close to the next lower leaves. I sometimes use a small pair of herb scissors on small plants like these. You want to leave some true leaves for the plant to be able to make energy to branch out.

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Vorguen
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woah i missed the video, loading it now :)


also, how does pinching off the branches help? to produce more branches?

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Kisal
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The plant is genetically programed to produce leaves, which through the process of photosynthesis, produce food. That enables the plant to mature, produce flowers, set seed, and reproduce itself.

On either side of each leaf node are cells that are destined to become leaves, if the leaves above the node are lost. New leaves will develop on each side of the node, if you remove the ones in the center. So, by removing the tip of one stem, you force two new ones to develop, making the plant bushier.

Does that make sense? :lol:
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soil
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and you keep doing that, so one becomes two, two becomes four, four becomes eight and so on. giving you a greater harvest in the end. compared to if you picked the bottom leaves first.
For all things come from earth, and all things end by becoming earth.

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Vorguen
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also something really weird about my basils is... they are growing EXTREMELY slow..

they are about 2 months old, and are growing extremely slow.. but they look and feel very healthy, and are constantly progressing IE they keep growing and putting more sets of true leaves


we had this problem in our last harvest they got completely stunted in the same spot for several months without ANY progression they still looked the same we finally plucked them out of the pots even though they were technically still alive (I ate them too :D)


i wonder why this happens, truthfully they get very little diluted sunlight but i have a light shining on them pretty directly


also the ones in the picture are about 5-6 inches tall, when is it time to start helping them branch by pinching?

at what height or number of true leaves?

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Kisal
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What kind of light are you using? I've only used fluorescent shop lights, and they have to be hung so the bulbs are just an inch or two above the tops of the plants. Otherwise, the light is being diffused through the air and is of little to no use to the plant. Also, the light should be kept on for 16 hours at a time, then off for 8 hours. Your plants may be "stalling" for lack of light.

Sunlight coming through a pane of glass is about the equivalent of dappled shade outdoors. If your windows are double or triple paned, then a plant placed directly in front of the glass is getting the equivalent of full shade outdoors. In addition, quite a bit of heat can build up in front of a sunny window, cooking your plants.

Another possibility is that you're keeping the soil a bit too damp. That can prevent the root system from developing, and without a good root system, the top of the plant won't get enough nutrients to grow.
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Kisal wrote:Sunlight coming through a pane of glass is about the equivalent of dappled shade outdoors. If your windows are double or triple paned, then a plant placed directly in front of the glass is getting the equivalent of full shade outdoors. In addition, quite a bit of heat can build up in front of a sunny window, cooking your plants.
Not so! Use a light meter to check the lux inside a window when the sun is hitting it. Every bit of 80 percent (probably closer to 90 percent) of the measurement you would get on the other side of the glass, at least with single pane. Most green house guides state that with double-paned glazing, one will get at least 70 percent transmission.

Ditto for the heat, unless you have some kind of a barrier that keeps air from circulating. True, the soil will dry quicker than it would if the plants are not in direct light, but that's not unlike what would happen outside.

If we ever get a sunny day here again, I'll take light measurements inside and outside and post the results.

Mike

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Vorguen
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we give them about 14-16 hours of light a day (turn on when we wake up, turn off when we go to bed)

we use a mood light on them that was given to us as a gift, its placed very close to them and is supposed to mimic "sunlight" for your mood so i figured it would be a good light for plants

they get a bit of sunlight too that comes in from the window that they are placed on

they are about 3-4 feet away from the window, shouldn't be a problem I don't think

thanks for the heads up on the soil, i try to wait until the top of the soil is a little dry to water them again :)

i probably water every 4-6 days

wordwiz
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The sun decided to grace us with an appearance! At 3pm (EDT) I measured the lux outside the GH - 93,700. Inside, with a single pane, mostly clean window, it was 84,300 or 89.97 percent. Now I'll only get that high, or higher readings for a couple of hours, but that is still half the Daily Light Integral I need for very good production. To put that in perspective, in two hours I get 1/2 the PAR provided by a MH light that provides 30,000 lux (the level by many growers) running 14 hours a day.

Mike

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Vorguen
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Also recently they have been growing faster... The only real change is I started watering them with leftover teas that we didn't finish, they were usually infused with tea bags and never had any sugar / honey / sweetener

I wonder if that had anything to do with it.


Anyway can somebody help me with my questions from my last post please? My basils are 5 inches tall and on their 3rd set of true leaves and I was wondering at how many true leaves I should start pinching.

Thank you

wordwiz
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Are they transplanted yet? If not, I would not pinch them. For the past few years, I've let the transplanted ones get at least a foot tall, with several sets of leaves. Just a guess, but I suspect that topping them causes a bit of a shock and I like a good support system (roots and leaves) to abate the shock. There are a lot of days left in the growing season, unless you are south of the equator!

Mike

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Vorguen
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Ah so a foot, does this size plant work for everyone for pinching after transplanting?

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rainbowgardener
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Something like that anyway. I also like to get mine pretty well established before I start pinching them off. Maybe not quite that big, but close.
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Vorguen
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Transplanting was very successful, thanks everyone :)

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