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Preparing the plug plants for hanging baskets

By Spalding Today Columnist

Okay, we’re fast approaching the middle of March and the race towards Spring is well and truly underway. So to get a little ahead of the curve, I’m going to tackle getting my summer hanging baskets off to a good start.

It’s still too early to plant out hanging baskets at the moment with summer flowers but that doesn’t mean that we can’t grow our plants on in a greenhouse or bright window sill before planting out in May.

I would advise you to head to the seasonal glasshouse here at Baytree and take in the incredible range of Kindergarden plug plants we have for sale. You’ll be spoilt for choice.

Once you have chosen your varieties, you’ll need to show them some care when you get them home.

Spring hanging basket. (7717956)
Spring hanging basket. (7717956)

To begin with, you’ll need to mix some multi-purpose compost with perlite. The aim is to create a loose open free draining mix for your young plants to be transplanted into.

Gently remove the plug plants from their trays by pushing them out from the bottom - the blunt end of a pencil works really well for this. Once removed, give the roots of the plant a good misting of water with a hand-held atomiser. Keep the plug plants upright when finished, as you don’t want to damage their delicate stems. They are just babies after all.

Fill as many 9cm pots as you’ll need with your compost mix - one plant per pot. Using a garden dibber or any other tool you fancy, make a hole in the compost which is slightly larger than the plug itself.

The next stage is hold each plant by its root plug and gently tease out the roots. This will encourage the roots to spread out into the new soil. Be careful here not to damage the stem of the plant. Pop your plant into the hole and gently back fill the compost mix around the root system. Firm the compost down, but don’t be too aggressive with this.

This all sounds far more complicated than it actually is, but once you get started it really is a doddle.

When all of your plants have been potted on, give them a good watering using a fine rose in your watering can, as then it won’t deluge the plants or wash away the compost. Transfer your plants to either a greenhouse or window sill.

They’ll have to live there for about four to five weeks. The nutrients in the compost should easily feed your plants whilst they are growing indoors.

Make sure though, during this intensive period of growth, that you take on plenty of tea and biscuits purely to keep your strength up for the gardening weeks ahead. I believe the bourbon biscuit is perfect for the job.


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