Planting and Transplanting
Planting is simply putting an existing plant or bulb into the soil to grow and develop. The soil for this must be appropriate to the individual plant (See soil). Make a hollow in the soil where you wish to plant. Insert the root ball of the plant into the hollow and fill up with appropriate soil. Press the soil around the stem using both your palms, so that the root ball is compacted, ensuring good contact of the roots with the soil.
Transplanting is simply replanting seedlings from a seed nursery to the actual site where the plants are required. This not only allows their systematic relocation but also toughens the plant and stimulate growth.
Sometimes mature plants also need to be transplanted but here root damage from uprooting can have a disturbing effect.
To minimize the adverse effects of transplantation shock on mature plants observe the following guidelines:
- Choose a cool season when the plant is less active, i.e. when evergreens are totally dormant, as this cuts moisture loss and there is less disturbance to plant metabolism.
- Take care not to lose more than a third of the root fibres; this is why bringing out the plant with a large part of the soil mass around the roots (root ball) is advised. For small plants up to 18 inches in height, a cylindrical tin about as wide as the leaf crown and open at both the ends is thrust into the moistened soil (so that it is soft). around the stem. Then by tilting it, the root ball can be brought out quite intact and pushed into the hole prepared for transplantation.
- Avoid exposing the newly transplanted young saplings to strong sunlight for a week or more so that they do not dry out. Make a temporary sun shade (of bamboo, gunny or even paper) if necessary.
- Spray the foliage with water a few times a day because it is necessary on dry days. This is the reason why monsoons are preferred for the transplantation of saplings.
- Prepare well the site for transplantation; if you just make a hole in hard ground, the new roots will not be able to develop easily. Make a pit larger than the root mass and ensure that loose manure,enriched soil surrounds it.
- Do not over,water, keep the soil lightly moist and ensure that moisture reaches the entire root zone. If you have brought a plant with a clay ball around the roots, then puncture and break the soil carefully with a kitchen fork for easier entry of water.
Note: If the leaves fall off sometime after transplantation, do not be alarmed. It is the natural protection mechanism of the plant at work. By shedding Its leaves, the plant reduces its moisture loss by way of transpiration, thereby preventing itself from drying out. New leaves will come up once the roots establish. Plants do have their own ways.