How to successfully raise young plants & seeds.
Wednesday, 28 Feb 2018 10:18 am
What's the difference between young plants and seeds?
The main difference is that by using young plants (plug plants) you're getting a head start in the growing process. You're cutting out the germination part which can be the trickiest as the conditions (including temperature and lighting) need to be perfect. By using plug plants you often find that you get more variety and perhaps some more obscure varieties of bedding. You'll also find that your plants are bigger and stronger and will produce more flowers or fruits.
What do I need?
With both seeds and plug plants you'll need small pots, plant labels, seed trays and compost. It is also well worth you using brand new compost to ensure that you are starting your plants off in the best way knowing that the soil is disease and pest free. When using seeds its best to use a seed & cutting compost and with plug plants a multipurpose with John Innes or John Innes No.1 would be suitable.
How do I raise them?
If you have chosen plug plants, when you get home give them a good water and allow them to drain off.
When you are ready, the plants or seeds need to be placed into pots (around 6-9cm). Ensure that you're prepared with your plant labels so that you don't forget what you're growing.
Once everything is planted, give them a water but don't water them again until the compost is nearly dry – this will avoid fungus growing on the compost.
With seeds, place the see through dome back on top of the tray, once you start to see green shoots growing you can remove the lid.
Ensure that the plants are kept out of frost at all times and that they are placed in a well-lit area, a south facing window or in a greenhouse is ideal.
After two weeks you should give them a liquid fertiliser and continue doing so fortnightly.
After 6 to 8 weeks, or once the plants have filled out the entire pots, you can begin to harden them off. To do this, you can leave the plants outside during the day but bring them back into their sheltered area for the night. You want to be doing this for around 2 – 3 weeks before being able to plant them into the garden.
Now all the hard work is done, you can sit back and enjoy the garden that you created all through the summer!
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