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Buying Vegetable Transplants

Many Gardner’s purchase transplants rather than grow their own.  A healthy, strong transplant will recover from the shock of transplanting more quickly and produce higher yields at harvest. Some things to look for in desirable transplants are:

  • Good Color- A transplant with a deep green color could indicate plants have been over fertilized to get quick growth. Yellow off-color green can indicate plants have been “over-hardened off” and are stunted. Select plants to avoid both extremes.
  • Strong Plants- Look for well-developed foliage and plants with sturdy stems and well-developed root system. The roots should look white without and brown areas.
  • Disease and insect free- inspect entire plant for disease. Be sure to look under the leaves- this is where the insects live. Plants found to be diseased or having insect problems should not be accepted. Be sure to examine the root system for presence of nematodes. On young transplants this condition may be hard to detect without very close examination.
  • Bargain transplants- use caution- Bargain transplants are no bargain if they are diseased, insect damaged or not true to variety. It is always best to purchase transplants form a known source and those that have been certified by the department of agriculture.

A good harvest begins with a healthy transplant, in order to get the most out of your garden this year make sure that you are purchasing transplants that are high quality to make this year’s garden a success. For questions on planting contact the UGA Extension office in Carnesville at 706-384-2843.