Q.Where To Find Trustworthy Organic/heirloom Transplant Growers?
Hi! I’m new to growing my own food, getting things set up for my indoor garden now (I have a tiny apartment in a crowded city lol), and I’m wondering where to find trusted sources of transplants for things like dwarf citrus trees, vegetables, and fruits. I had a bad spell of fungus gnats with previous houseplants (from places like big box stores and even Trader Joe’s) that I’m keen to avoid, so I’m looking for a trusted place that takes excellent care of its soil as well as the plants, and I feel a bit overwhelmed as to where to begin. (Obligatory clarification that I understand that sometimes fungus gnats will be inevitable; I just want to give my plants the best start possible!) Thank you so much!
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Getting trees from reputable places may be a "live and learn" type thing. We don't recommend places to purchase, but when going for trees, I would recommend going bare root. It seems rough this way, but it will ensure that there is nothing in the soil. Other smaller starts should not be of much worry.
The main problem starts after transplant, usually. It is possible to reduce the presence of fungus gnats by ensuring that their food source is depleted. Since they eat fungus, that means it needs to be reduced to reduce the gnat population.
Typically, this can be tricky indoors. I have a few tips for this, though.
Indoors, it is important to give the container size that the plant needs ONLY at that time. This is about 1 or 2 inches larger on all sides at each transplant. This reduces the amount of soil that remains wet, while uncolonized with roots. This reduces the fungus population, which reduces the gnat population.
Watering intervals are important, as well. Watering should be done, only, once the soil is completely dry down to 1/3 of the way into the container, at least. This is another way to reduce gnat population. Overwatering will be the primary reason that they are able to be established. They cannot flourish in drier soils, so a balance of what the plants need and what is barely enough will be necessary. ESPECIALLY indoors.