Immature plants that can be grown on to flowering and cropping are the mainstay of most garden centres and nurseries. They have done the difficult job of germinating the seeds and rooting the cuttings, providing you with the young plants for you to re-pot, grow on and nurture.
They are a great alternative to growing from seed or cuttings if you don’t have the room or the facilities to provide the right germination temperatures and temperature and light requirements needed by the seedlings when growing on.
These young seedlings need potting on immediately after they are purchased. You can either pot them individually into small pots or cell trays or transplant them into seed trays. Small pots and cell trays will give better results, as each plant can produce its own rootball without competition from other plants. Planting out is then more successful as the plants settle and establish immediately, without any check to growth.
Keep them somewhere warm and in good light, keep the compost moist, but be careful not to overwater.
Plug plants are more mature and are larger than seedlings. Depending on their size, they should be potted up individually into 7.5 - 10cm (3 - 4in) pots using a good potting compost.
Grow them on indoors with the right temperature and good light until they’ve filled the pot with roots and they’re ready to plant out into their permanent position. Keep the compost moist.
Bedding plants/vegetable plants
These plants have been grown on for longer and are ready for planting out into their permanent positions - whether that’s beds and borders, containers or hanging baskets.
Keep well watered and gradually harden off so the plants are ready for planting out in the garden at the end of May.
Improve the soil with plenty of organic compost and enrich with a controlled release plant food. Dig a hole to fit the roots and fill in with good soil.
Water the plants in with a solution of Miracle-Gro All Purpose Soluble Plant Food applied over the leaves and around the roots. This will encourage quick new growth and help the small plants to recover from transplanting shock.