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Seed start transplanting

Hey y'all, I'm brand new on here. Seems like this could be very informative. So, quick question...I started kale seeds in my grow room about 12 days ago. They are already about 3 in out of the soil and getting stringy. Here's my question. Should I transplant or up pot these little starts into like a quart size pot? Or like a big solo cup? I know kale can be directly sewn into outdoor soil. This is more of an experiment. Just wondering if the transplanting will help strengthen the plants.

The seeds were all started in 50 cell trays. Probably about 2 1/2 in deep cells. I also have a lot of cabbage starts and spinach starts in the same situation. So, any thoughtful he and or tips would be greatly appreciated...


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Super Green Thumb
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Location: TN/GA 7b

You didn't say where you are and what your weather is like. Makes a difference. I have a whole bunch of spinach, broccoli, cabbage, etc seedlings, that I up potted in to 4" pots. They've been going in and out and in and out and in and out, because the weather just hasn't cooperated with hardening them off. They are cool weather stuff and once hardened, they are quite frost tolerant. But just bringing them out from warm cozy indoors, they are tender. While tender, I can't leave them out in below freezing weather. Before they've been out long enough for me to be comfortable with it, the temps go back down to 19 or something crazy and I bring them back in. If they are back in very long, then they get un-hardened and we have to start over. SIGH....

But if your weather cooperates and you get them hardened off, then I think they are better off in the ground, as long as they have at least a couple pair of true leaves.

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Mother Nature has been toying with us this year. Although this hasn't been a season of record snow fall it has been exceptionally cold, and wet. We got several snow events but nothing more than 14 inches at a time here in the DC area.

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It has been my experience that transplanting will cause a plant to go into shock for a bit. It might make them stronger in the long run, but they will sort of stop growing for just a bit until they get used to their new environment.

Have you grown other things in your grow room? I ask because one possible cause of the “stringy” nature could be that they do not receive enough light, or that your grow lights are too far from the plants to provide intense enough light.

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