Give “Peas” A Chance

By | February 19, 2013

It’s now been two weeks since I planted my seeds, and I’m happy to report that all of them have now spouted!

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After the mini celebration that took place every morning and afternoon when I checked on them (they change so fast in these early stages!), I realized I may have a slight problem on my hands… The peas have been growing so much that they’ve already outgrown their little pot!

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Now, I knew I would be replanting these guys outside in the garden eventually. (Eventually meaning when it gets warm, and when we actually get the garden dug up and ready to plant…)

But I had no idea that after a week and a half, I’d see this coming out of the bottom of the little pot:

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Yup, those are roots…which means it’s time for a change of habitat in order to give these peas a fighting chance to make it in the long run. After all, I want their roots to be nice and strong when I transplant them outside.

So, I grabbed one of the leftover plastic yellow pots from our wedding reception centerpieces.

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And set to work with a butter knife, loosening the dirt from the edge of the pot to make the transition as easy as possible.

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Now, since I spent all my middle school, high school, and college years working for a landscaping business, I feel fairly qualified to share my tips and techniques for carefully transferring plants. Keep in mind, I’m not really a trained plant professional (horticulturist? botanist?), so I’m sure there are other tips you can follow. This is just the method I prefer to use.

After filling up the larger pot about halfway with fresh potting soil, I made the switch.

You want to carefully cup the top of the pot you’re transplanting with one hand, holding the bottom on the pot with the other. Then, carefully and slowly turn the whole thing upside down, allowing the root ball (hopefully still intact) to slide out into your hand, being careful to not squish any of the sprouts/flowers/leaves. I like to let some of them go through my fingers and hang on to the soil itself if possible.

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(See how badly these little peas needed the chance to expand?)

Then, quickly and carefully place the root ball in the new pot and add new dirt around the edges and even some on top, pressing down very lightly so as not to squish anything, but to get rid of any air pockets in the soil. I also gently spread out the little shoots so as to give them more room to grow before I have to move them again…

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Tip: Make sure the soil of the plant you’re repotting is pretty moist but not soaking wet. It’s it’s too wet or too dry, it’s more likely to just crumble in your hands instead of remaining in it’s little ball.

You want to water your newly transplanted plant gently but thoroughly to help get rid of any extra air space in the soil and to help the roots get reestablished. Also, if the roots are tangled at the bottom of the original pot, try to gently loosen them a bit so they’ll have an easier time adjusting and spreading out to the new soil.

FYI: These tips go for anytime you’re repotting something in a new pot or just transferring plants to the soil. 

Now the new, bigger pot is chilling on the window sill with his smaller, more dainty buddies. It looks a little funny for now, but it’s only temporary. I have a feeling it won’t be long until these little peas get too big for their newly expanded home.

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Apparently peas grow a lot faster than herbs. Here are the chives:

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And the parsley, which took a lot longer to sprout but has now caught up completely with the chives:

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Still, I’m pleased with how my $0.20 seeds are doing so far. I’m getting anxious to see them get big enough to use, but I know I have several weeks before that will happen! It’s so fascinating to watch these little green babies grow! Sometimes I think if I just sat and watched them, I’d see them growing right before my eyes!

In the meantime, tell what you’re most looking forward to about spring! Is it a garden? A garden party? Just a party? Let’s hear it!

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