Well I’ve started this wonderful seed starting adventure this year and it’s been so much FUN! I’ve been using a couple different containers for my seeds. I mostly have Jiffy strips pots that remind me of the size of 6pks that you purchase your plants in at the store except that these are 10pks. I also have two trays of the Jiffy discs. I have already discovered that I like the Jiffy strips better than the discs. Mostly because it seems that the strips don’t seem to create mold like the little disc ones do. My little seedlings in both types of containers have been growing quite nicely and I feel like I have a green thumb. LOL The true test will be when I get them through the entire indoor process and seeing them thrive in the yard.
My question is this: Some of the seeds produce BIG plants like the Nasturtium which grew to 8" tall in the first week! I made the mistake of planting these in the little discs instead of the jiffy strips. These plants are HUGE and the roots are just shooting out of the sides and bottom. I was concerned with the fact that I still have 3 wks to grow my plants inside and with all those roots sticking out…wouldn’t they have problems like becoming overgrown with roots or difficult to remove from each other? I decided to pot these up into bigger pots because of this issue. I read later that Nasturtium doesn’t like to be transplanted so now I’m worried that putting these tall seedlings into 4" pots will make it difficult to survive once I put them in the garden.
I’m not sure if I will need to do more potting up with some other plants but I also don’t want to pot up plants if I don’t need to. So ultimately, is it alright for ALL the little seedlings I’ve planted to have roots sticking out of the disc pots or am I going to need to pot some of the larger ones up?
THANKS FOR YOUR HELP!
It’s disturbing the roots that causes the problems. It sounds like your seedlings are leggy. (way too long for the stem diameter). You probably need more light on them. Anyway, if you are going to repot, create an indentation in the potting soil exactly the shape of the root-ball. I’d gently cut the bag containing the root-ball and drop it in the hole. Don’t crush it into place.
Naturtiums have big seedlings that grow fast (related to having big seeds, beans and squash have similar issues) Mine didn’t seem to resent being transplanted terribly much, as long as it was warm enough and they got plenty of water.
Other seedlings probably won’t grow as fast as the nasturtiums, so you may not have a problem in only three weeks. In general, a few roots sticking out (like the bottom) is ok, but if they start getting really crazy, you will need to pot them up so they stay healthy and vigorous.
Thanks so much for the help! I’ve been searching all over online but couldn’t get a good enough answer. I don’t really think they are too leggy as the stems seem sturdy and strong. In fact, a couple have already gotten their second set of leaves. Next season I will start these in the jiffy strips instead so that they have more room for growth and maybe I won’t have to pot up at all. After 3 days in their new pots they seem to be doing just fine. I made a hole in the soil for the jiffy disc pot and just popped it in without cutting the outside netting. I just hope they do fine when I try to put them out into the yard. I will be EXTRA careful when I remove them from the tall 4" pots when I go transplant them into the yard.
THANKS AGAIN FOR ALL YOUR HELP SO QUICKLY!