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In agriculture and gardening, transplanting or replanting is the technique of moving a plant from one location to another. Most often this takes the form of starting a plant from seed in optimal conditions, such as in a greenhouse or protected nursery bed, then replanting it in another, usually outdoor, growing location. Botanical transplants are used infrequently and carefully because they carry with them a significant risk of killing the plant.
Transplanting has a variety of applications, including:
Different species and varieties react differently to transplanting; for some, it is not recommended. In all cases, avoiding transplant shock—the stress or damage received in the process—is the principal concern. Plants raised in protected conditions usually need a period of acclimatization, known as hardening off. Also, root disturbance should be minimized. The stage of growth at which transplanting takes place, the weather conditions during transplanting, and treatment immediately after transplanting are other important factors.
Commercial growers employ what are called containerized and non-containerized transplant production.
Containerized transplants or plugs allow separately grown plants to be transplanted with the roots and soil intact. Typically grown in peat pots (a pot made of compressed peat), soil blocks (compressed blocks of soil), or multiple-cell containers such as plastic packs (four to twelve cells) or larger plug trays made of plastic or styrofoam.
Non-containerized transplants are typically grown in greenhouse ground beds or benches, outdoors in-ground with row covers and hotbeds, and in-ground in the open field. The plants are pulled with bare roots for transplanting, which are less-expensive than containerized transplants, but with lower yields due to poorer plant reestablishment.
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