When do I prick out seedlings?

When do I prick out these leek seedlings?

What about Parsnip seedlings also?
What size pots should use to put the seedlings in next?

Thanks for your advice.


Hi Cathy,
Leeks are more forgiving than many plants when it comes to pricking out and transplanting. In fact I’ve left mine in a seed tray until I plant them out in June/July. I wouldn’t recommend that you’re as lazy as me though! I notice that you’ve only half filled the tray with compost - when you do prick them out (, maybe in the next 2 to 3 weeks), it doesn’t matter what diameter of container, but they’d appreciate a greater depth of compost to get their roots into. I’ve used the plastic punnets that you get mushrooms in the supermarket before now. You don’t need to give them loads of space, an inch between plants will be fine. I don’t know where you are in the country, but you’re off to an early start (I haven’t even sown my leeks yet in Kent), you’ll probably be able to plant them out in about May. Once you’ve transplanted the seedlings, I would put the container outside. Leeks are quite hardy, but will appreciate better light than they’ll get on a windowsill.
Parsnips - I always sow these direct in the ground in April. I would prick out your seedlings as soon as possible, into their final position. If you don’t, there is an increasing chance that you’ll damage the roots, which will cause them to produce a mass of tiny parsnip roots. I’d be interested how these work out. Sow some more direct in April as insurance!




Thanks Brian.
This is really helpful. I live in Somerset which is quite mild. I have a South/West facing small patio (ish) and I grow everything in containers. Although my husband brought me a wooden hand-made raised bed. As you can tell I’m a complete beginner. I did grow Tomato and chilli last year.
I’ve got some spring bulbs growing nicely.
I’m really enjoying gardening.


Yes I treat parsnips just like carrots. I sow them straight in the ground too

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