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What would you do?

I'mOne

Well-Known Member
I transplanted this Romulan grapefruit in to a small pot with foxtarm happy frog that I mixed with some soil I previously tried to germinate seeds in. One batch was some Romulan grapefruit seeds the other was malana cream seeds. About a week after the transplant this little guy popped up. How do I get him out of the pot or do I just leave him or her in the pot with the big plant? How would I get the little plant out in one piece if I decide to go that route?
 

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labexperiment

Well-Known Member
If you have a 1 or 2 gallon sprayer you can set it to jet stream and blast it about an inch from the stalk and the water and pressure would loosen the soil around the roots for easy removal, I do this all the time for tomato seedlings for transplanting into containers in early spring. I then dig a hole larger then the root and spray water to move the soil to cover the root gently.
 

I'mOne

Well-Known Member
Well the spoon didn't work. I went about three inches down and two inches out in the dirt and tried to lift and the baby plant didn't budge but I dislodged the soil around it! I will see if it is still alive tomorrow and if so maybe I can get some warm water in my sprayer and try that. I hope I didn't cut the tap root.
 

SmokingWings

Well-Known Member
Well the spoon didn't work. I went about three inches down and two inches out in the dirt and tried to lift and the baby plant didn't budge but I dislodged the soil around it! I will see if it is still alive tomorrow and if so maybe I can get some warm water in my sprayer and try that. I hope I didn't cut the tap root.
You did it wrong or used the wrong size spoon or something. Use the bowl of the spoon to lift the plant out, do not try to lift the plant by gently pulling it up by the stem. If what you want is to save the seedling for transplanting into another pot of soil then just do it. What is there to loose. You already had given up on the seed and were reusing the soil for another attempt so we could say it is now a bonus free plant.

If you leave that smaller one in with the big plant then the larger one will shade the small one creating a runt. The large one already has a huge root system and the root ball will dominate so you will have a runt. The small one has little chance of growing a large enough root system to become a productive size so it remains being a runt. Even if it survives all this then the runt will be using water and nutrients trying to grow to full size which means it is taking what the larger one needs. The soil is a limited and closed environment; there is only so much we can expect that pot of soil to do with the one plant. Adding a second one does not improve the end result by producing more flowering buds.

People have been transplanting seedlings of that size for centuries using spoons and hand trowels. If you stick the spoon down into the soil about an inch or so away from the stem and then lift the tiny plant with its one tap root should just come up resting the in the bowl of the spoon. Stick the plant into the new pot, gently pack the soil, and give a tad bit of water.

Ya, I tried a time or two by putting two rooted cuttings into one pot to judge for myself just how much more or less I would get. One always seems to dominate over the other. I have to pay more attention to the one pot because with two plants they draw in more water and so the soil dries out faster than the same size pot with just one plant.
 

I'mOne

Well-Known Member
Yes well I didn't and I'm not going to pull on it.
I just need to regroup and rethink..
I think the root was much deeper than I realized. I'm thinking of bringing it into the shower stall and using warm water to dislodge it. Maybe I could remove the bigger plant and repot it into a nice 2 or 3 gallon pot and leave the little one in the one it's in?
Thinking is that the big plant has a better chance of survival while being messed with, even if I were to damage it's root system a little it has lots of roots to recover with.??
 

I'mOne

Well-Known Member
My tap water is really hard and about 435 ppm...I used rain water to water and loosen the dirt... mixed the two and got my ppm down to 100 ppm. Unfortunately my rain water storage is pretty cold! I need to rethink this.
Could I cut the pot away and separate them more easily?
 

Pepperhead

Well-Known Member
I transplanted this Romulan grapefruit in to a small pot with foxtarm happy frog that I mixed with some soil I previously tried to germinate seeds in. One batch was some Romulan grapefruit seeds the other was malana cream seeds. About a week after the transplant this little guy popped up. How do I get him out of the pot or do I just leave him or her in the pot with the big plant? How would I get the little plant out in one piece if I decide to go that route?
I would suggest you tip the pot tap to loosen all the soil so that whole plant comes out of the pot
Once all the soil and plants are out of the pot you will be able to see where some of the roots are and separate the small seedling
Separate it and repot both plants into new pots
I do this every year with seedlings for peppers and tomatoes and have zero plant failure
Often the roots are intertwined when I transplant my peppers and tomatoes and I tear someof the roots , that is not a problem to damage some of the roots
You could wait to do this when the first set of true leaves is bigger or when a second set of leaves forms to do this
Everyone is so fearful of killing a pot plant, it is a plant and it is like any other plant for transplanting
It will recover
Good luck in making your decision
I would not leave it in the same pot as it will not grow much as it will have to compete with the larger older plant
 

I'mOne

Well-Known Member
Well I went to the farm store and bought a decent hand trowel and cut a big chunk of earth out with the seedling poured soil back in the hole and transplanted seedling. Watered the hell out of both with warm tap water. The seedling had made first leaves already! I hope it goes well and I'm feeling good about it.
 

SmokingWings

Well-Known Member
Yes well I didn't and I'm not going to pull on it.
I just need to regroup and rethink..
No, no. You do not pull on the small plant. You use the spoon as a small shovel and the seedling and its roots and some of the soil are in the bowl of the spoon when you lift it up. Then you can lift the whole thing out at one time and put it into a small hole that you have already made in another pot filled with soil. This is the way people have been doing it for centuries.

Just a side note, but in mass production of seedlings being prepped for sale as bedding plants, greenhouses do train their workers to loosen the soil and lift the seedling. Then the seedling is placed in a cell pack already in a large tray. When these workers are on a roll they are transplanting these small plants at a rate of 120 or more an hour.

Ah, I see you just posted something while I was typing up the above msg.
 
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