So you’ve decided that some of your crop is going to come from starts that you buy or otherwise acquire. How do you know what to look for?
This isn’t rocket science, (Plant scientists might dispute my dismissal) and Garden Tribe’s lesson covers pretty much everything you need to know. Probably the best advice I can give is, as I said about pruners, don’t cheap out. If a broccoli or cabbage or tomato plant is cheap or marked down, there’s a reason for that. If there are yellow leaves, reject it. If the soil is dry, reject it. If the plant is “leggy” –i.e. long spaces between sets of leaves, reject it. Look at the rootball–yes, remove it very carefully from the pot–if the roots fill and wind around the pot, reject it.
Having said that, many vegetable plants can be planted deeper than you find them in their pots. So if the leaves look good, and the soil is moist, and the roots full and straight, but the plant looks a little leggy, you can be pretty confident it will be fine. When you plant it, just remove the lowest leaves, and plant it an inch or two deeper than it currently is.
That’s it. On to Day 16.