When it comes to planting full term seedlings and clones, there are various options to consider. While some clones are marketed as “field ready,” and full-term seedlings can be directly set out from trays, an alternative approach involves up-potting them into larger pots, such as 3″ or 4″ pots. Although this method requires more potting soil, additional labor, and space, it offers unique benefits that can be advantageous for certain scenarios.
Advantages of Up-Potting
1. Larger and More Robust Plants: Up-potting allows the seedlings and clones to grow into much larger and stronger plants before they are transplanted into the field. This provides several benefits, including the ability to plant a bit later in the field while still achieving the desired canopy coverage. The larger plants also have a greater capacity to withstand potential transplant shock, ensuring a smoother transition and minimizing setbacks.
2. Improved Canopy Fill and Plant Health: By allowing the seedlings to grow larger in the pots, you have the advantage of a more developed root system and foliage. This translates into improved canopy fill once the plants are transplanted into the field. The larger size and healthier state of the plants contribute to their overall resilience and vitality, increasing the likelihood of successful growth.
1. Consider Scale and Feasibility: It’s important to note that up-potting into larger pots is not practical on very large scales. However, it can be successfully implemented on smaller to moderate scales. In our experience, we have smoothly executed up-potting across up to 5 acres. Assess your resources, labor availability, and space constraints to determine the feasibility of this method in your specific situation.
2. Prepare Optimal Conditions: To facilitate the process of “digging” holes by hand during planting, it’s crucial to create beds with very good tilth and a lofty structure. This ensures that workers can easily dig the holes, enabling smooth and efficient transplanting. Take the time to prepare the beds adequately before commencing the up-potting process.