Transplantation is a cropping technique in a safe structure that offers multiple advantages over conventional field seedlings. This method of transplanting plants provides increased crop uniformity and turnover, greater use of available land, scrutinizing and avoiding low-quality seeds, seedling vigor, decreased pesticide use and labor, along with seed cost savings. Seeds are germinated under optimum environmental conditions of temperature, humidity, light and moisture before transplantation. Proper care and monitoring facilitate rapid and synchronous seedling emergence. Later, these seedlings are replanted or transplanted in a production field, either in soil or hydroponics system. Learn more about transplanting by reading on.
Plants can experience transplant shock when they are relocated from one environment to another. With the change in place, plants are unable to draw sufficient water from its new surroundings. Also, plants need to re-establish its roots in its new location; therefore, encouraging rapid root development is mandatory to restore the ability of the plant’s uptake of water. A small amount of fertilizer often referred as “nutrient charge” is a must while planning a fertility program for transplanting in soil-less conditions. A lower-nutrient charge in the media will lead to additional controlled growth. Fertilizer requirement of these plants varies based on species, tray cell size (larger cells need less fertilizer), and nutrient charge of the growing media (a lesser amount of fertilizer should be used if the media has a high nutrient charge). These transplant fertilizers vary in their percent nitrogen, phosphate (P2O5), potash (K2O) and micronutrient content.
Nitrogen is needed by plants to build proteins grow new tissues. Too much nitrogen, however, can lead to abundant foliage in plants, and thus it may not produce fruit or flowers. Excess Nitrogen supply may stunt growth as the plant isn’t absorbing enough of the other important elements.
Phosphorus encourages root growth, sets buds and flowers, improves vigor and increases seed size by transferring energy from one part of the plant to another.
An ideal transplant fertilizer should have most of the N in nitrate form for active use and little in the form of ammonium or urea. The key nutrient in a transplant fertilizer, phosphate, is less water-soluble than other fertilizers and may precipitate out of solution. Many transplant fertilizers have low-to-medium phosphate concentrations to keep phosphate soluble. Excessive phosphate may stimulate rapid seedling elongation under certain conditions. Therefore, an alternative is to use a fertilizer with no phosphate for most feedings and apply a high-phosphate fertilizer occasionally to promote growth. Withholding phosphate entirely may cause purple coloration along the stem and underside of leaves due to phosphate deficiency.
A transplant fertilizer that decreases the risk of plant injury, and provides an adequate rate of phosphorus at a low EC and an affordable price is desirable. Spraying foliage during transplantation with liquid nutrients like Emerald Goddess can produce exceptional yields. Additionally, try to keep the root ball intact and maintain adequate moisture in the grow medium to minimize transplant shock.