Get your bed­ding off to a great start, says Ruth

Amateur Gardening - - This Week In Amateur Gardening -

MY plug plants, which in­clude a fuch­sia, dahlia, brachyscome, os­teosper­mum and gera­nium, sur­vived the harsh start to spring and have grown well.

Now it is time to pot them on so they can de­velop strong root sys­tems and healthy fo­liage be­fore they are hard­ened off and planted out.

I pot­ted them up in John Innes No2, which has enough good­ness to fire up their growth with­out be­ing so strong it burns their roots. I also gave them a thor­ough soak­ing and won’t wa­ter them again un­til they start to look slightly limp.

My plugs will spend the next few weeks in an un­heated green­house, but do just as well in a cold frame or mini green­house, as long as you can cover them with fleece or zip up the front on frosty nights. Watch them for pests, as ten­der young leaves will at­tract sap-suck­ing nui­sances such as aphids. Squish early sight­ings be­fore they de­velop enough to in­fest plants and re­quire a chem­i­cal so­lu­tion.

Stand plants in wa­ter be­fore pot­ting up Plugs will grow large and healthy in warmth, light and good com­post

Pinch­ing out cre­ates stronger plants

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