on potting up
“potting up” is the process of transferring a seedling (a tiny baby plant) from one size container to another. why not just grow seedlings in the final pot size you need them in? on a commercial scale, doing so could amount to needing a lot more space than is available, or financially viable to build, heat and maintain. so, we grow lots of baby seedlings in smaller pots, and then transfer the healthiest ones to bigger pots. this is done for seedlings we sell to folks to garden at plant sales, and for seedlings we will use to plant and grow vegetables in the fields and unheated greenhouses (“tunnels”).
step 1: prepare pots you are going to “pot up” into. in this case, potting up into 2-inch square pots for the plants to be sold as seedlings.
step 2: fill trays with potting soil mix. this often includes a fertilizer, such as shrimp powder, and a source of micronutrients, such as kelp or seaweed, mixed in with potting soil (which includes things such as perlite to improve water retention) and water.
step 3: transfer baby plants from their current container to their new one. make sure that both the old container and the new container have well-watered soil! below, you can see aurélien carefully scooping up tomato seedlings. he will place them in the pots filled with soil, putting their roots deep into the pots, so they can grow strong and tall, and eventually be sold as seedlings.
step 4: smile, and water frequently. the little plants are somewhat shocked by their move to a new home and need extra love and care at this stage.