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Transplant Frequently Asked Questions

Are your plants organic?
We are NOT certified organic. However, our transplants are grown in our greenhouse from organic seed, when available, in a compost-based potting soil that is 100% organic and they are lovingly tended by our Director of Agriculture, Jonathan Kirschner. Any amendments used in the potting soil or on the plants are approved for use on organic farms.
Why are my transplants smaller than the ones I see at other places?
We strive to give you plants that will do well when you are ready to put them in your garden. This means that size can be deceiving. Often a bigger plant will be root bound and take longer to adjust to transplanting than a smaller one. Don’t get overexcited by very large bushy plants, they may not be the best choice for you. Transplants grown this way suffer less transplant shock and show better resistance to adverse conditions such as disease and pest pressure. Transplants include those that are suited for a colder Northern climate (when planted).
Why aren’t my plants available immediately?
We start your plants in our greenhouse attempting to time them for the optimal planting time. For cold weather crops that is usually around the 3rd week in April and for warm weather crops usually around the 3rd week in May. As always the climate affects everything. It can speed up or slow down when the plants are ready.
What are the cold weather crops?
Arugula, Beets, Bok Choy, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Celeriac, Collards, Dandelion Greens, Fennel, Kale, Leeks, Lettuce, Onions, Peas, Radishes, Salad Turnips, Scallions, Sorrel, Spinach, Swiss Chard, and some herbs.
What are the warm weather crops?
Beans, Celery, Cucumbers, Eggplants, Melons, Peppers (Hot & Sweet), Summer Squash/Zucchini, Winter Squash, Tomatoes, Flowers and Herbs.
What is the difference between pre-ordering and ordering online now?
Our pre-ordering sale for Transplants starts in early February and allows people to order plants before we start them in the greenhouse. Because the plants are being ordered early we are able to offer a larger variety of options of certain crops. The pre-ordering of particular transplants ends the day before we need to officially start them in the greenhouse. After that only plants that we already had planned to grow for the transplant sale are available which is what you see on the ordering pages now.
How can I get on the e-mail list for pre-ordering for next year?
Please subscribe to our e-newsletter. We send out an e-mail in early February when the transplants are available online.
When will my plants be delivered?
If you live in Wilton and would like your plants to be delivered we plan to start delivering them on Monday May 20th. Due to limited staff we cannot guarantee a delivery date or time. We will try to deliver between the hours of 9am and 3pm sometime that week. If you need a special delivery time due to extenuating circumstances please contact Farmer Jonathan at jonathan@amblerfarm.org
How do I arrange pickup of my plants?
To try and keep everyone safe we have instituted a sign up sheet that gives a specific time window for you to pick up your plants. Please sign up for a time that works for you. If you need a special pickup time due to extenuating circumstances then please contact Farmer Jonathan at jonathan@amblerfarm.org
Are my plants ready to be planted?
Yes, we harden off the plants at the farm so that when you pick them up they are ready to be planted. Hardening off is a process where we acclimate the plants to the outside conditions. They start out in the nice cozy greenhouse, then are moved to a hoop house which is like a greenhouse without heat (so they get used to colder temperatures), and then eventually outside where they are exposed to all the elements. This helps reduce transplant shock and hopefully leads to stronger plants in the end.
How often should I water?
Your soil should feel like a wrung out sponge. When squeezed it should hold together and not crumble but you should not be able to squeeze water out of it. Every crop can be different but this is a good general rule.
How much light do my plants want?
Your vegetable plants want as much light as you can give them. Vegetables are a little more forgiving than fruits. This means your lettuce and spinach are okay with say colder temps and 7-8 hours of light where your tomatoes and peppers would like at least 10. As always it can vary with each vegetable but again this is a good general rule.
Why aren’t my tomato plants producing any tomatoes?
Honestly, I have no idea. There are so many potential reasons. This is a good reason to consider a personal gardening consultation with Farmer Jonathan or to come volunteer and pick his brain while you are working! Too crowded? Too wet? Too much fertilizer? Just the wrong year for tomatoes?
How big will this plant grow?
Depends! That’s my answer for almost everything. Another good reason to consider a personal gardening consultation with Farmer Jonathan or to come volunteer and pick his brain while you are working!
How far apart should I plant from other plants?
Depends! Again, a good reason to consider a personal gardening consultation with Farmer Jonathan or to come volunteer and pick his brain while you are working! Vegetables can usually be planted closer together while fruits like a little more space, in general.
Do I need to stake this plant or give it some kind of support?
Depends! Staking can help save space and keep fruits and flowers off the ground but are not necessary. It’s part of a larger plan for how you want to grow and how much work you want to do. Perhaps a good reason to consider a personal gardening consultation with Farmer Jonathan or to come volunteer and pick his brain while you are working!
Do I need to “feed” the plant periodically and if so with what?
Depends! It can be a philosophical and biological question. How do you want to grow. Since I can’t answer for everyone since every person and situation is different you might want to consider a personal gardening consultation with Farmer Jonathan or to come volunteer and pick his brain while you are working!
What is a personal garden consultation and how do I schedule one?
If you would like to discuss your garden plans/happenings with Farmer Jonathan then you may e-mail him at jonathan@amblerfarm.org to arrange a personal consultation. Yes, they do cost money, $70 per hour and take place at Ambler Farm. Jonathan can not do an onsite consultation at your home, there is just too much to do at the farm! E-mail him with questions.

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