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.