Transplanting is simply the transfer of a seedling or young plant from one container to another or into the ground. Some plants, such as those that form taproots, would rather not be transplanted and should be sown where they are to grow. Taproots are enlarged primary roots that are sometimes used for food storage. Carrots and parsnips are examples of swollen taproots. Some horticulturists believe that multiple transplants into nutritious potting media or soil will benefit the plant and give higher yields.
Others think that transplanting causes shock to the plant and will cause it to be less vigorous. Both of these viewpoints are correct when taken in the proper context.
Whether seeds are sown directly in the ground where they will grow or are transplanted from container to container depends upon the type of roots formed by the plant and its cultural requirements, as well as the type of soil and climate. Roots can be damaged in the process and may have trouble accessing nutrients, especially if the soil bed has not been properly prepared. Phosphorous fertilizer is often applied, as it is the most difficult nutrient for damaged roots to access and it promotes development of new roots.
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