Transplanting your Seedling

Get Your Seedling Into the Patch

Transplanting is when you take the seedling you’ve started and transplant it out to your pumpkin patch. It is a key process of any plant started indoors and then grown outside.

Transplanting giant pumpkin seedlings gives you the ability to face the plant in the right direction.

If grown straight in the soil from a seed you may need to train vines to go in the correct direction.

There is a fine line between transplanting too early and transplanting too late.

Your aim is to get your seedling into the patch as soon as possible so it can start growing.

When to Transplant Your Giant Pumpkin Seedling?

There are 2 factors to consider when to transplant your giant pumpkin seedling.

  • Weather conditions
  • Age of seedling

Weather Conditions

You want to minimise your seedling dealing with frosts in this stage of growth.
 
If you are in an area that is still very cold, you will need to look into early protection for your seedling.
 
Wind, slugs and snails could also be a concern early on in a seedling’s life. Early protection is in the next section of the How-To Guide.

Age of Seedling

You want your seedling to grow its first true leaf. This allows you to place the seedling into the soil facing in the correct direction.

Looking down on a seedling this first true leaf is the leaf that first forms in the middle.

Remember the vine grows opposite this first true leaf.

Reduce the Shock of Transplanting

Care should be taken to not shock the plant at this stage.

Shock to plants can occur from rough handling or more commonly a drastic change in temperature and environment.

This shock can stunt your plants growth, or in the worst case scenario kill the plant.

Cutting your season short forcing you to try and catch up. (this is why backups are important)

Harden those Plants Up

Hardening off plants is a technique used by growers all over the world no matter what they are growing. The goal is to get the plants used to the outside environment to help reduce transplant shock.

They need to get used to being outside after being started inside.

Hardening Off Benefits

  • Seedlings will get used to the range of temperatures outside.
  • Seedlings will get used to moisture loss, air movement and direct sunlight.
  • Less shock, plants start growing faster.

Hardening Off Process

This process usually occurs over the space of around 7 days.
 
Take your seedlings and place them outside in a sheltered shady location. The first time leave them outside for around 3 hours.
 
Every day increase this length of time outside by a couple of hours.
 
After 2 – 3 days move your seedlings out into sunlight, and move them back into shade in the afternoon.
 
Remember to bring them in each night.
 
Around 7 days your seedling should be more accustomed to the outside environment. And be ready for transplanting out into your pumpkin patch. If possible transplanting on a cloudy day is ideal.

Transplanting Your Giant Pumpkin Seedling into the Patch

  • Creating small mounds where you intend to transplant your seedling can be beneficial.
  • A mound with gentle sloping sides will help raise your seedling. This allows it to be above ground level.
  • The soil will warm more, drain water better and keep the plant above ground temperature.
  • Dig a hole that is as wide and as deep as the pot your seedling is currently in.
 
Tip: If you have an extra pot the same size as your seedling is in, use that to make a perfect sized hole for your seedling.
Seedling Planted Out In the tiny pumpkin patch
  • If you are using products like Mycorrhizae fungi, mix this and any other products you are using and add to the hole
  • Remove the seedling from the pot or bag and orientate it into the hole for correct vine direction.
  • Fill around the seedling with soil and water the base of the plant. You want the soil damp not soaking.
  • Your seedling will start putting down roots and establishing itself in it’s new home. After this it will start it’s vine growth.

Placement of Seedling

  • If you are growing one plant you want it to fill in as much of the patch as it can over the season.
  • I cover this more in the vine management section of the how-to guide.
  • But generally if you have one plant in one patch most people will have it start at one end and grow to the other.
If you have 2 seedlings in one patch you could either:
  • Grow from opposite ends to each other.
  • Or the other option is start in the middle and have them grow outwards from each other. With the seedlings back to back.
  • Growing a seedling and then transplanting is important. It allows you to orientate the plant to fit your patch.
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