Upon arrival, your plants could most likely use a little relaxation time before being repotted or planted in the ground. Remember, they’ve just traveled a ways to be with you, and could use the rest. Don’t put them directly in hot sun or dry wind upon arrival. Give them some time to acclimate to their new surroundings. They may need some water and some time in the shade.
Good soil is essential and amending the soil is encouraged. Regarding the soil, you generally want soil that will dry out and hold water on a normal scale. Not too sandy and not too muddy. A happy medium of the two. The roots want to be able to reach as far as they can to find the biological aspects of the soil. The roots will seek out the life in the soil, so feel free to amend it with what they are looking for. Humus is highly encouraged, as well as earthworm castings. Humus is full of microbial life that plants resonate highly with and earthworm castings are high in nitrogen. This combination will help your plants to flourish.
The watering paradox.
Not too much: technically you can’t overwater a plant, it will stop drinking when it’s gotten it’s fill. However, you can keep a plant too wet over an extended period of time and this can create root rot which can cause problems. It’s ideal to water until the soil throughout the pot is wet. You can tell by looking through the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot to make sure the soil is wet all the way through. But give it time to use the water you’ve given it, generally a few days, because this is part of the process that helps the plant to grow.
Not too little: don’t let the plant wilt from a lack of water. The best way to gauge whether a plant needs water or not is to pick it up. If the soil is lighter in color and the plant is light to the touch, then it needs water. If the soil is darker in color and the plant has weight to it, then it’s fine. Generally the plant will tell you what it does or doesn’t need, you just need to be keen to it’s language.
Your plant has arrived certified organically grown. We highly recommend you maintain this practice. It’s simple really. Just don’t add any products that aren’t certified to be organic. This mainly applies to soil, fertilizer, and pesticides. We recommend you use pesticides as infrequently as possible.
There are alternatives to using pesticides. At Organic Harvest we use beneficial insects released on a regular basis, as our main weapon in the fight against pesky plant pests. These are good bugs that like to eat the bad bugs. It’s an extremely environmentally friendly way to combat a tricky problem.
Here’s how to transplant your potted plant into a bigger pot or into the ground. Gently remove the plant from the pot. If there is some resistance try to gently pinch the pot to loosen the rootball from the pot. You can also cover the soil in the pot with your hand and hold upside down to help the process as well. It’s helpful to make the hole for your new plants as deep as the pot that the plant is in and about double the width. Or if you’re replanting into a bigger pot then it’s recommended to transplant into a pot at least double the size of the container it’s currently in. The more space there is for the roots to grow and expand, the better.
Fill in the hole or pot with your plant in it but don’t pack the soil in overly tight. Just gently sweep your hands over the new planting area and then water it in. But again, not too much. It’s always helpful to scratch the rootball a little bit to loosen up the roots, this will help the roots expand quicker. P.S. Tomatoes can be planted deeper, about 2 or 3″ below the lowest leaves.
When harvesting herbs you always want to cut the plant in a way that encourages the best possible regrowth. The best way to do this is to harvest at the node. It’s best to cut the stem right above the node, or where there are two mini stems sticking out resembling a “V”. This method will make your plant bushier, and two stems will stretch out from where the one stem was that you’ve just cut. Enjoy your fresh organic harvest.