We’re so pleased to see so many photos on social media of the plug plants that you’re receiving in the post. Some customers – perhaps those of you who are turning to your gardens during this time of social distancing and self isolation – are asking us about what to do with their plug plants when they arrive. We’re aware that many of you may be new to gardening and might need some help and advice, so here’s a quick guide to what to do when your plants are delivered.
- Unpack your plants as soon as they arrive – even if you haven’t got time to plant them up straight away – they’ll need some air after being enclosed in their packaging.
- Give them a drink! The plants may well be thirsty after their journey, so moisten the plugs of soil at the roots of the plants if they are dry.
- Don’t worry if the plants look a little sad on arrival; they should perk up once you give them a drink.
- When you’re ready, gently tweak each plug plant out of its packaging and plant each one into a 7-9cm pot, filled with a good quality, multi purpose compost. This is what is known as ‘potting on’.
- Gently press the plug plant into the compost, adding more to top up the pot if necessary. Don’t fill the pot to the very top with the compost – you need to allow for watering.
- Place your pots somewhere where they will stay fairly warm and get lots of light – a windowsill, or a table near a window is fine if you don’t have a greenhouse or conservatory.
- Keep the compost moist, but try not to overwater.
- Your plants will start to grow; getting bigger and stronger by the day.
Once your plants have developed more leaves and are looking more robust – usually in late April to mid May (depending on the weather/climate in your area) – you can toughen them up ready for planting out in the garden by popping them outdoors during the daytime and bringing them in at night. You should do this for 7 – 10 days prior to planting out. This is known as ‘hardening off’. It’s important to protect your growing plants from any possible spring frosts, so do keep an eye on the weather forecast!
After you’ve ‘hardened off’ your plants, they’re ready to be planted out into the garden where you can watch them continue to grow and flourish – just remember to water them!
NOTE: If your plants are destined for baskets or containers which can be easily moved indoors and out again, then you can plant your plants into their final containers a little earlier if they have made good growth. You can then harden them off as explained.
Sonia works at Thompson & Morgan in the role of press and communications officer. She is a self-proclaimed ‘reluctant’ gardener and is generally amazed if anything flourishes in her garden. Sonia has a ‘hands off’ approach to gardening and believes that this helps to encourage bees, butterflies and other wildlife. (That’s her excuse anyway!)