In this tip:
- A)# Introduction
- B)# Working method
- C)# Remarks
- D)# Making (wide tubes)
- E)# Making (narrow, small, thin) tubes
- F)# Final conclusion
Cabbage plants and other vegetables are often sown in a row or a group in the garden soil. When plants are big, they are replanted to the desired spots in the garden soil. During replanting, garden soil can drop from the root ball. Or at the desired position, one can put a plant into the soil with no clinging earth at the roots. At the new spot, this plant has to get used to the new position and the new garden soil. It can take a long time before water and nutrients are transported through the roots of the plant again. The plant will hang loosely for some days or weeks.
You can try to replant with rootball, so with much garden soil at the roots. Using this procedure, all roots of the plant are still in the same garden earth at the new spot in the garden. Plants will not hang loosely for a long time and they will grow on soon.
To replant with rootball you can use a bulb planter.
- Use the bulb planter to make a plant hole at the new spot in your garden.
- Put the bulb planter over (around) the plant.
- Push the bulb planter into the soil.
- Lift bulb planter with plant and root ball.
- Put bulb planter with plant into the new plant hole.
- Open the bulb planter and lift it from the new plant hole.
- The plant with root ball will remain in the plant hole.
Sometimes this replanting method is not succesful:
- Some leaves of the plant are damaged in the bulb planter during “grabbing the plant”.
- During “unloading” at the new plant hole, the plant remains in the bulb planter. You have to squeeze the handle or shake the tool to have the plant with root ball into the new plant hole.
Instead of a bulb planter, one can use a plastic tube to grab the plant with root ball. Use another tube to make a new plant hole in the garden soil. Then put the plant from the tube into the planting hole. This procedure is described below. It works well when replanting cabbage plants, carrots, chicory (witloof), red beets, leek and lettuce (tried by myself).
B)# Working method
The (cabbage) plants on this photo need to be replanted. Water the plants 1 day before replanting. Otherwise dry soil can fall from the roots during transport.
Add much water to the plants and the soil, about 15 minutes before taking the plant out. This makes pushing the tube into the soil and “unloading” the plant out of the tube much easier. See C)# Remarks
At this position in the garden, new plant holes are made and plants are put in later. When top layer is very dry, shove this dry soil away before making holes. So dry soil will not fall into the holes.
On this photo you see the 2 tubes that are used for replanting. Each tube is 6 centimeters (2.4 inch) thick and about 50 centimeters (1 ft, 8 inch) long. Description of the tubes:
- The upper tube on the photo, the one with white stripes, is used to make new plant holes. It is called the “plant hole tube”.
- The lower tube on the photo, the one with the green hose, is used to replant. This “replanting tube” is closed at one end. Near this closed end, there is a hose in the wall of the tube. The “replanting tube” is pushed into the garden soil with open end down. Depth in the soil is about 5 to 10 cm (2 to 4 inch). Then the “replanting tube” (with plant) is taken out of the soil and put into the new plant hole. The plant with root ball is blown out of the “replanting tube” during lifting.
- At each tube, rubber bands indicate how far the tube is put into the soil.
In this way the plant is put into the “replanting tube”:
- Choose the plant that need to be replanted.
- Add much water to the plants and the soil, about 15 minutes before taking the plant out. Soil may be a little muddy. This makes pushing the tube into the soil and “unloading” the plant out of the tube much easier. See C)# Remarks.
- When desired, dip the open end of the replanting tube in water (about 10 cm, 4 inch) before use. See C)# Remarks.
- Use one hand to push all leaves of the plant against the stem.
- Let the “replanting tube” down over the plant. Meanwhile guide the leaves and the stem of the plant into the tube.
- Put the “replanting tube” over the plant on the garden soil, “about in the middle of the plant”.
- Push the replanting tube into the garden soil until the rubber band touches the soil. This is about 8 cm (3 inch).
- You can turn the replanting tube a little while it is in the garden soil. This “seperates the garden soil in the tube from the garden soil beneath the tube”. This turning procedure is not really necessary but you can try if it works well.
- Carefully pull the “replanting tube” (with plant in it) out of the garden soil.
- When the new planting hole is not ready yet, you can lay the replanting tube with plant on the soil. Or you can put this tube vertical on garden soil or on a paving stone.
- When you click on the photo above, it gets screen wide.
- You can use a cylinder (an empty toilet roll or so) to put in all leaves of the plant. Then put the replanting tube over the cylinder. See remark at C9) Leaves in roll.
Make a planting hole:
- Push at the desired spot the “plant hole tube” in the garden soil until the rubber band touches the soil. That is about 10 cm (4 inch).
- Pull the “plant hole tube” out of the soil. Then the planting hole is ready.
Empty the “plant hole tube”:
Use a wooden stick or trowel and tap against the tube to remove the garden earth from the “plant hole tube”. Drop the garden earth “somewhere else in the garden”.
When the planting hole is ready, you can plant as follows:
- Put the “replanting tube” ( with plant in it) into the planting hole until maximal depth.
- Take a breath of air and slowly blow air into the (green) hose. This air pressure pushes the plant with root ball out of the “replanting tube”.
- Meantime lift the “replanting tube”.
- Stop blowing air when root ball is out of the tube.
- Lift the “replanting tube” until the plant is out of the tube.
- When you click on the photo above, it gets screen wide.
Watering after replanting:
After replanting, pour cold tap water in the planting hole. In this way the room between ball root and planting hole is filled with wet garden earth. The plant will stand firm in the soil and will grow easy.
C1) Moist garden soil when unloading
Add much water to the plants and the soil, about 15 minutes before taking the plant out. Soil may get a little muddy. This makes pushing the tube into the soil much easier.
And “blowing out” (unloading) the plant with root ball goes much better. The moist root ball is more hermetic (air-tight) and the root ball is heavier. A water film between root ball and tubing offers a slippery path. On the new position, the plant grows in moist soil and will probably not hang loosely for many days.
Just before pushing the tube into the garden soil, you can dip the open end of the replanting tube in water (about 10 cm, 4 inch). This also eases pushing in and unloading the plant.
C2) Planting depth
The rubber bands on the tubes indicate how deep the tubes are pushed into the garden soil. You can shift the bands. This means you can replant deeper, at the same depth or shallower than the original depth.
C3) Adding manure or agricultural lime
You can make the planting hole slanting (\ /) by wiggling the “plant hole tube” while it is in the garden soil.
This offers more room between root ball and the edge of the planting hole. When desired you can put manure or agricultural lime in this room or on the root ball. Then fill up this room with loose garden soil. When watering the plant after this step, the root ball will remain intact. The garden soil will not be washed away during watering.
The same trick at another plant. Put agricultural lime around and on top of the root ball. Fill the space (between root ball and planting hole) with garden earth and make a “watering hole” around the plant. Water the plant.
C4) Filling the garden hole
Plants can grow very close to each other. When you have taken out one plant, next plant is very close to the “hole in the soil”. See left photo above. This plant is hard to replant with the tube. The plant will drop out of the tube during transport. Or the plant can not be “blown out” because air is leaking next to the root ball.
You better fill the hole with moist garden soil and press on it. See right photo above. Now the hole is “gone”, you can water the soil and replant the plant using the “replanting tube”.
C5) After replanting
These cabbage plants have just been replanted on their new spots.
On this photo you see the same plants 2 days later. The plants grow firmly.
C6) Narrow (small, thin) tubes
When replanting small plants, you can use thin drainage tubes. The polypropene tubes on this photo have an outer diameter of 40 mm (1.6 inch) and a length of 50 cm (1.7 ft).
The tube at the left side of the photo is the “plant hole tube”. It has a (yellow) rubber band to indicate depth.
The tube at the right side of the photo is the “replanting tube”. There is a hose in the tube (near the end). The end has been closed by a black plastic blind cap, as shown on the photo below.
This rubber cap (38.5 mm) fits well in the tube of 40 mm outer diameter.
The tube has a (blue) rubber band to indicate depth.
C7) Transplanting other plants
C7a) Chicory (witloof)
This photo shows replanting of witloof. At the left photo, the plant is at its original position in the garden soil. The right photo shows the plant at its new position. After replanting, much water is added to the plant and the soil. This makes garden soil flushing into the space between root ball and hole. So the plant will grow well after replanting.
C7b) Red beet (beetroot)
Use small (thin, narrow) replanting tubes. Red beet plants are small and there is little space between the plants.
This photo shows replanting beetroot plants using small tubes. After replanting, much water is sprayed on.
C7c) Winter carrot
This photo shows how a small winter carrot plant has been taken out of the garden soil, using a small (thin, narrow) tube.
The little carrot plant has been put into a planting hole. Garden soil has been shoved and water has been sprayed on.
On these photos a leek plant with root ball is planted in a 4 inch deep furrow in the garden soil. After planting, you can shorten the outer leaves. Then the leek plant will grow on easier and its leaves will not hang soft during several days. More info at tip 36, chapter D)# .
C8) Using a file to sharpen the edge of the tubes
Tom, a Dutch gardener, suggested to sharpen the lower edge of the tubes. This can be done with a file or sand paper. It eases putting the tube into the garden soil. For sandy soil probably not necessary. For clay soil a good idea. Thanks Tom.
C9) Leaves in roll
Tom also advised to put the leaves in a paper roll before taking the plant out. And to transport the plant with roll to the new planting spot.
I have tested this procedure, as shown on the photos below.
This procedure works well as shown on the photos above when replanting a lettuce plant. Empty toilet paper rolls are useful for this. Using this method, one can put many plants into rolls. And then replant all plants. This may take less time than each time putting the leaves of a plant into the replanting tube.
C10) Replanting into a flower pot
It can happen that you can’t put the plant (that is in the replanting tube) in a planting hole right away. Then you can put this plant from the replanting tube into a plastic flower pot. And replant it later from the flower pot into the garden soil.
Below a description.
Replanting tube 6 cm
- On this photo you see a replanting tube (diameter 6 centimeter) with plant in it. And an empty plastic flower pot.
- “Blow” the plant out of the tube into the flower pot.
- The root ball is 1 to 2 cm (about 0.5 inch) higher than the upper edge of the flower pot.
- Use fingers to press on the moist earth in the flower pot.
- On this photo a replanted kohlrabi plant with root ball in the flower pot. This flower pot has a thin wall and bottom. Before taking out the plant with root ball, you can press on the bottom of the flower pot. And then take the plant with root ball out of the flower pot.
Replanting tube 4 cm
- On this photo a repanting tube (diameter 4 centimeter) with a plant in it. And an empty plastic flower pot with insert and strip.
- “Blow” the plant out of the tube into the flower pot.
- Here the top of the root ball is somewhat lower than the upper edge of the flower pot.
- Use fingers to press on the moist earth in the flower pot.
- On this photo a small endive plant in a small flower pot.
- When neded, put some more moist garden earth in the flower pot.
- Then use fingers to press on the moist earth in the flower pot.
- This flower pot has an insert and a strip. Before replanting take the insert out of the flower pot. Lift the strip a few millimeter (1/4 inch) and release to loosen the root ball from the insert. Then you can take the plant at the root ball and replant it.
D)# Making (wide tubes)
- Thin plastic (PVC) tube, about 6 cm (2 1/4 inch) outer diameter, length about 1 meter (for 2 tubes). Price (in The Netherlands) about € 6.00 for 2 meters of tube.
- Plastic end cap (or other well fitting pieces) to make a hermetic seal at one end of the tube. Dutch price is about € 4,50 for 2 parts.
- Plastic hose, about 12 mm (0.5 inch) outer diameter. Length about 30 cm, 12 inch. This hose costs about €1,25 per meter.
Remark 1: sidewall thickness of tubes
When replanting “bigger” little plants you better use a plastic tube with a thin sidewall.
Advantages of this “thin sidewall” tube:
- Inner room is big, so there is much space for the plant when it is in the tube.
- The wall of the tube is thin (1.5 mm, 0.06 inch) so it is easy to push the tube into the garden soil.
- After replanting there is a narrow slit between planting hole and root ball (only about 1.5 mm, 0.06 inch). When spraying water, garden soil will fill this slit. Then the plant will stand firm in the soil and will grow easily.
- This type of tube is used for rain water drain. So easy obtainable in a DIY shop.
When using a smaller tube with thick sidewall:
On this photo you see a 50 mm (2 inch) tube with thick side wall of 3 mm (0.12 inch).
This tube is less functional; less space for the plant, harder to push into the garden soil, wider split between new plant hole and root ball (much earth to flush in).
Remark 2: pipe end cap.
In Dutch DIY shops you can’t buy 60 mm pvc end caps. So I used 2 “fitting pieces” to make a hermetic seal in the replanting tube.
It is much easier to use a well fitting pipe end cap. Maybe you can buy one on the internet.
D2) Mounting the parts (wide tubes)
These parts fit well.
Use a hack saw to make 2 tubes of about 50 cm (0.5 meter, 1.7 ft) length.
Drill a hole in the side wall of one tube, the replanting tube. Diameter of this hole is about 10 mm, 0.4 inch). The hole is about 6 cm (2.5 inch) from one end of the tube.
Put the plastic hose in this hole. “Fold the hose” and put it into the hole. Then “unfold the hose” in the tube using a wooden stick or so.
Put the “hermetic end cap” on one end of the replanting tube, near the small hose. The “end cap” should not pinch off or hinder the green plastic hose.
When needed, you can apply plastic tape to improve the “fit”.
A “plant hole tube” and a “replanting tube”, ready for use. You can put an “indication” on one of the tubes, for example white stripes. This can overcome using the wrong tube during use.
Put 2 or 3 rubber bands on each tube. When you put them next to each other, they will not shift easily during use.
The rubber bands determine how deep the tubes are pushed into the garden soil. By shifting the bands you can replant higher, deeper or at the same depth as the plant grew before replanting.
D3) Piece of garden hose over sharp edge
You can put a piece of garden hose over the sharp edge of each tube. So pushing a tube into the garden soil dows not hurt anymore to your hand.
Below a description
- Use a piece of garden hose. Length is some more than the periphery of the tube.
- Cut the hose in the longitudinal direction.
- Put the hose over the sharp edge. A small part of the hose “is double”.
- Push some (same size) well fitting plastic flower pots in the tube. These pots fix the garden hose over the edge of the tube.
- During pushing in the flower pots, the hose can move a little. When needed, remove the flower pots, correct the hose and push the flower pots in again.
- Lay the tube on the floor or on a flat table.
- Use a drill of about 3.5 millimeter (1/7 inch) to make a hole through the overlapping pieces of hose and the tube.
- Push a bolt with washer (3 millimeter) through the drilled hole.
- Turn the bolt loose a little (c.c.w). This is to release the flower pots.
- Remove all “loose” flower pots.
- In these pots there is no bolt through the wall.
- A “fixed” flower pot has a bolt through the side wall.
- Push on the side wall (make a dent) to release the flower pot(s) from the bolt.
- Remove the flower pot(s).
- Bolt in again through the inner parts of the hose.
- Put a washer on.
- Put a nut on the bolt and fasten.
- Use a sharp knife to cut the sharp edges of the hose.
- On this fhoto indicated with yellow arrows.
The tubes are eady for use now.
When you put a well fitting pipe end cap over the edge of the tube, there is no sharp edge. So covering with a a piece of hose is not needed.
But you have to drill an air opening in the end cap of the plant hole tube. So garden earth easily goes in and out of the tube. See also D1) Remark 2.
E)# Making (narrow, small, thin) tubes
In chapter C6), there is much info about the small tubes.
F)# Final conclusion
- This procedure works well for replanting small plants.
- You can put the “replanting tube” about 7 to 10 cm (3 to 4 inch) in the moist garden soil. Less garden soil in the tube will leak air so you cannot blow out the root ball. More garden soil blocks in the tube and needs a very high air pressure to blow out. These values are for both thin and wide planting tubes.
- It is good to water the plants and garden soil with much water, about 15 minutes before taking out, as described in remark C1). Then you can put the replanting tube some deeper or shallower into the garden soil, while the root ball can still be blown out easily.
- Just before pushing the tube into the garden soil, you can dip the open end of the replanting tube in water (about 10 cm, 4 inch). This also eases pushing in and unloading the plant.