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Like myself, some of you may be ready to transplant bare rooted transplants such as leeks, brassicas or others from the seed bed. If you think about it your plants are growing in a dark, cool and damp place. To avoid stress it is essential that transplanting is done so as to return the transplants to the conditions they were growing in the first place as fast as possible. Ideally all the ground should be damp, preferably after rain with the plants watered the evening before. It helps if conditions are cool overcast and not windy with the actual planting taking place in the evening. Prepare all planting holes beforehand and have water to hand. Carefully, usually with a hand fork remove a few plants carefully bearing in mind not to damage the root systems and within a second or two plant back into the dark, cool place from whence they came. Why all this fuss. There is a tendency as it seems methodical to take up the plants and leave them on the surface prior to planting. This is a huge mistake as desiccation takes place. It's an alien world with roots exposed to light like fish out of water. So back in the soil as soon as possible. In some books, they tell you to give a good watering and that will do, but if the surrounding soil is dry that soil will absorb the water which the plants need. Some soils can retain moisture but in soils that drain well such as sand or light loam watering must continue until the roots strike out.. It is one of those jobs that can lead to failure or at least a long recovery period when what is required is continuous growth.
Jack First

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