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Trickier Transplanting
Guest writers, Nadamayi and Phil

Lest you get the impression that we are experienced expert gardeners, this section should dispel any such thoughts. You have followed us on our own journey through indoor gardening, a first for both of us. In this section we will explain how this container got to be the mess that is, and how with grace we were able to salvage all the plants.

What you see is a parsley plant on the right hand part of the container, one large tulsi plant and many very small tulsi plants in the middle. What happened was as follows. The tulsi seeds were planted first, too many and too deep. After six weeks, nothing had come up, so the parsley was planted in the same container. The parsley came up, and then the tulsi started to sprout.

Many factors influence the speed with which a seed will sprout. Temperature is a critical factor. The tulsi were planted the end of December when the space was cold (It gets warmed by the sun during the day, and by radiant heat from the house at night, there is no auxiliary heat in the space). Add to that the fact that the seeds were buried too deep, and the result was nothing showed up for two months.

So, how do we salvage this? A variation on the simple transplanting shown with the arugula plants. The idea is to separate each of the plants, and then place the separated plants in their own container.


First, we took the whole root mass and all the plants out of the container, so that we could get a better idea of how to separate the palnts.

Then we gently pulled the parsley away from the tulsis. And next one of the outlier tulsi plants was separated from the mass of tulsis.

The baby tulsi was given its new home

The tulsi plants were further separated, taking the outside plants from the entangled root mass

Pulling one of the larger tulsi plants out of the mass

Dropping the tulsi into its new home. The objective during this to do the minimal stress and trauma as possible to the roots. So, once the plant is carefully extracted here it is placed into the depression and the soil is then carefully placed around it.

Next was further separating of the tulsi plants, carefully pulling the plants apart trying not to damage any of the roots.

Each plant was put into a container.

The final result. Ten small, two larger tulsi, and a parsley plant.

Three months later, here are the same tulsi plants, having been transplanted to the outside garden. They are about 16-18 inches tall and almost that large across.

Seed Sources