Rootball Lifting Flower Pot

I can’t take any credit for this, but what a great idea. I saw this on wiki how today and just had to share it.  These plastic pots could also be used over from year to year.  I have tons of these plastic pots in my shed and now there is a good use for them. This is a great way to transplant without hurting your delicate little seedlings.

How to Make and Use a Rootball Lifting Flowerpot

During the colder weather months, some plants are best sown indoors in flowerpots. After a few days or weeks, the small plants can be put outside, into the garden soil. A rootball lifting flowerpot makes it easy to take the plant(s) with roots and rootball out of the pot.

Make and Use a Rootball Lifting Flowerpot

  1. Assemble the supplies needed. For one system, you’ll need two identical small plastic flowerpots, a thin plastic plate (for example, the lid of a margarine box) and scissors. The pots on the photo are about 5 cm (2 inches) high and 5.5cm (2.2 inches) wide.

  2. Make one “insert” by cutting away about two thirds of the side of one plastic flowerpot. Then you have one flowerpot and one insert.

  3. Cut a “lift strip” from a thin plastic plate (for example, a lid of a margarine box). The strip may be rectangular or spoon shaped. Bend the strip at one end. The short part of the strip must fit in the insert.

  4. Put an insert into an empty flowerpot.

  5. Put a lift strip in the empty insert. On the photo you can see two systems, one with a rectangular lift strip and one with a spoon shaped strip. Both systems work well, although possibly the spoon shaped one works better in larger pots.

  6. Write information on the long part of the lift strip. Fill the insert with (potting) soil. Press a little on the soil. Lay seeds on the soil.

  7. Cover the seeds with (potting) soil. Wait until the plants are visible.

  8. Lifting the rootball (step 1): When plants are visible, pull the insert out of the flowerpot.

  9. Lifting the rootball (step 2): Pull the strip a few millimetres (about 1/4 inch) to above. Then release the strip. The rootball will first loosen from the insert and then return to its position again. It will not stick anymore.

  10. 1

    Lifting the rootball (step 3): Take the rootball between your thumb and fingers. Put the rootball at its desired position (soil, another flowerpot etc).

  11. Planting in the soil (step 1): Make a hole in the soil. Put the flowerpot with insert and strip in the hole. Fill the space around the flowerpot with earth. Press on the earth around the flowerpot.

  12. Planting in the soil (step 2): Take the flowerpot out of the soil.

  13. Planting in the soil (step 3): Take the insert out of the flowerpot.

  14. Planting in the soil (step 4): Lift the rootball and take it out.

  15. Planting in the soil (step 5): Put the rootball in the hole in the garden soil.

     Tips
  • Spray some water on the (potting) soil before “lifting”. Then the (potting) soil will not fall apart so easily during handling.
  • Try the lifting procedure before laying seeds on. Then you can test to see if the potting soil is moist enough. “Feel” how the procedure works. If okay, put the rootball back in the pot by doing the steps in reverse order. If not okay, clean the parts and start all over again at step “Put an insert in an empty flowerpot”.
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