Artichoke update

Transplanting day for the artichokes!

As you know, I'm growing our artichoke plants from seed. The two varieties are 'Green Globe' and 'Imperial Star'.

I started the seeds indoors on March 5th, using a seed-starting kit that uses soil plugs (see earlier posts).

Take a look at the seedlings' roots!
After checking on them today, I decided it was high time most of them had their own pots. As you can see, they have four true leaves each, which is usually when I like to transplant seedlings. I had 100% of the seeds germinate but something went awry for one of them. Two seedlings are still a little small so they'll stay where they are for now.

Take a look (photo #2) at the root systems on the rest of them, though! In this particular seed-starting kit, the plants' roots grown down into a water reservoir. It's kind of like growing them hydroponically up to this point. It's amazing how quickly the roots grow.

I always use organic potting soil for growing edible crops and moistened it just enough so it would be lightly damp. And I used recycled pots from some Proven Winners plants I grew last year.

Photo #3: Their temporary home.
When transplanting seedlings, always handle them very carefully. Never pull them out of their growing containers by their stems as this can  cause a lot of damage for the poor little plants. As I slowly filled each pot, I lightly packed the soil around each seedling so it would hold the plant in place. That way, they'll stay put each time I water.

Since I need more room under my grow light set-up, I've temporarily located a flat in front of our sliding glass door (photo #3) and placed all the newly-transplanted artichokes in there. Once the evening temps are a bit warmer than they are now, I'll move them out to my unheated greenhouse.

Oh, and the most important part: I watered the transplants with a weak solution (half-strength) of fish fertilizer. I'm sure they are very hungry and anxious to start growing more so they'll be ready for a busy, productive garden season!

By the way, even if you're not growing artichokes, the steps you would go through when transplanting other seedlings is exactly the same.