The paperpot transplanter is a huge, time-saving farm tool that increases your farm’s efficiency by allowing you to transplant seedlings very fast.
Typically hand transplanting a hundred-foot bed can take up to an hour, but the paperpot transplanter allows you to transplant the same bed in just minutes.
That’s why Farmer Conor Crickmore of Neversink Farm loves the paperpot transplanter so much.
“I credit the paperpot transplanter to one more day off a week. We went from one day off a week to two days off a week. And I think a lot of that had to do with the paperback transplanter.”Conor Crickmore of Neversink Farm
Conor shares how he uses his Paperpot Transplanter to transplant dill and cilantro in this video.
Getting Started with the Paperpot Transplanter
Like any tool, using the paperpot transplanter takes some practice. The most important thing is getting the transplanter’s settings right for your soil conditions.
The paperpot transplanter works by planting a chain of paperpots (containing seedlings) into the ground. It does this first by ploughing a furrow, then laying the paperpots into the furrow, and finally filling in the furrow, covering the paperpots.
Plant at the Right Depth
When you start using the paperpot transplanter you first want to make sure that it is set deep enough to be able to bury the paperpots, but without covering the seedling. You can adjust the depth of the transplanter by raising or lowering the front wheels.
Covering the Paperpots
The transplanter comes with two sweeps at the rear that backfill the trenches with soil after the seedlings have been planted. Either of the sweeps can be moved outward or inward to control how much soil is burying the chain. The sweeps can also be bent by hand to get just the right amount of soil onto your transplants.
Consider Planting Conditions
Soil moisture can dictate if transplanting will be tricky or not. More soil moisture means the transplanter will have a harder time pushing the soil back after seedlings have been planted.
How to Use the Paperpot Transplanter
Clear Debris from the Bed
While the transplanter generally tolerates small stones and will push things out of the way, big rocks and big roots will cause problems in the trench by pushing aside or lifting up the transplanter out of the trench. Take some time to clear debris from your seedbed prior to transplanting.
Mark the Bed
When you’re starting out, marking the bed is a good way to get used to the spacings of your rows. Marking the bed also ensures that you plant straight rows which makes harvesting and cultivation easier in the future.
Transplanting Your Crop
A good time to transplant is just before, or just after, your seedlings’ first true leaves come out.
At that time thoroughly soak the tray with water. You will have better success transplanting the paperpots if they are are fully hydrated. Once hydrated place the tray of seedlings on the pan, and slide the ramp under the seedlings. Make sure the ramp doesn’t pinch paperpots because otherwise, they’ll get ripped.
Place the transplanter at the edge of the bed with the plow tip lined up with the edge of the bed. Pull the transplanter forward and down the bed just enough so the back end of the transplanter is at the edge of the bed. Thread the paper chain through the transplanter pulling it down the shoot and past the rear sweeps. Pin or push the first cell into the soil to anchor it in place. With the paper chain anchored to the soil, start pulling the transplanter down the bed. As you pulll the chain will slowly start to unravel, be planted, and then covered with soil.
Go Slowly and Watch Your Transplants
As you plants, look back and make sure your seedlings are being transplanted at the right depth and if they’re being covered sufficiently.
You can make simple adjustments while pulling to control the depth of planting. Pushing down on the front handle raisings the paperpots in the soil and pulling up on the front handle lowers the paperpots in the soil.
“You’re already going a lot faster, so there’s no reason to be flying down the rows,”Conor Crickmore
Conor usually sets up his beds so that there will always be extra seedlings left after transplanting . He uses those to fill in any gaps ensuring that the whole row is planted.
Improved Productivity at Neversink Farm with the Paperpot Transplanter
“I tell you, there’s something satisfying about getting so much done without having to bend over,” Conor says as he finishes up transplanting his cilantro. Pleased with his neat row of cilantro, he asks, “How many jobs on the farm that you can get a lot done just by walking? Not a lot.”
“It’s a hell of a lot faster than planting them one by one,” he says.
Time saving tools and efficient systems are some of the reasons why farmers like Conor Crickmore can gross a hefty $350,000 off a 1.5-acre farm per year while having a guaranteed two days off a week.
If you’re a farmer, and you want to save time and energy on your farm, then get started with the Paperpot Transplanter!