How to separate your seedlings

So I’m kind of weird in my approach to gardening. Usually I wing it with some common knowledge plus some googling. I started my first garden just over a year ago now with a small tomato plant and now I have a steady 112 vegetable and fruit plants.

So you know how you buy a six pack from the plant store and you just slap them right in the ground? That is correct BUT a lot of the time you end up with more than one plant in each segment. I don’t know maybe I was just tired, but one time I planted the plastic six pack that you buy the plants in – in the ground. Yes and I didn’t realise for about a month after I had done it. What was going through my head? Did that look biodegradable? No it didn’t.

BUT DON’T WORRY, I’m going to show you the best way to separate them after you planted them. The roots will be fine because it’s winter and onions won’t be ready until late summer so lot’s of time to grow!

So you bought your plants (let’s say they are brown onions) and planted them. Well done. Now they are getting bigger and you realise that there are more than one onion plant in each section. CRAP. How do you separate them? Will I get one mega mutant onion that falls into three like a mandarin? IMG_01041. Gently remove the plant from the soil but digging your hands into either side and cupping the plant out. Try not to disturb the roots too much. IMG_01152. Shake the plant softly to save as much excess dirt possible. Optional: You can massage the roots gently to release more tension in the roots.

IMG_01183. Get a bucket of water and swish the plant roots in it back and forth GENTLY. Like you are bathing a baby.

4. Gently start to wriggle them apart, be very careful not to break the roots. Until they are separated like this…IMG_0120

So I went from 6 plants to 17!! That’s a lot of  onions!! After you have separated them, plant those happy babies back into the ground and wet the soil a little bit for them to settle. Don’t leave them like the above picture in direct sun in the middle of the day. Don’t plant them in the middle of the day either!!