The availability of readily grown seedlings has come to the rescue of many” long-distance “farmers as it saves on them having to travel to the farms and check on the germination of the seeds. By long distance I mean farmers who do not reside at the farm for instance those living in the city but do farming in the countryside.

Today we have people raising seedlings and selling them while others are contracted to specifically propagate the seeds for a client and once the transplanting period comes, they can come for the seedlings or have them delivered in their farms according to the agreement they had. Transplanting is the process of moving a fully germinated seedling and replanting it in a permanent location for the growing season.

onion seedlings ready for transplanting.

Experts advice that planting seeds directly is riskier, since the seeds must put up with hazards such as adverse weather patterns, like drought or flood, high wind (for open-field farming), pests, and weeds. Seedlings are more resistant to pests, because they are more mature and stronger when transplanted. Many pests love snacking on the tiny seedlings. Therefore, the risk of losing the plants is lower as compared to seeds. Furthermore, the germination rate in seeds is lower as compared to planting seedlings. Seedlings will give you a significant head start on the season, since their maturity rate will be shorter and will result in an earlier harvest.

Seedlings being lifted

Transplanting is done when the weather is cool, preferably in the morning or evening because the plants can recover from root shock of transplanting. It is done when they are one month old or 4–6 leaves or about 10–15cm height. The healthy and vigorous seedlings are selected and lifted. The farmer should water the nursery 3–4 hours before lifting the seedlings from the soil. Doing so ensures that the seedling is lifted with some soil without disturbing the roots. Always ensure that the seedlings are planted at the same depth as they were in the nursery. For maximum growth, light mulching or shading should be done on the seedlings and watered on a regular basis.

Onion seedlings.

Farmers should adopt to the changing technologies in the field of agriculture to increase their production and reap more. Farming is only easy when a farmer is well informed and works closely with experts like the agronomists. Let us stay informed.

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