Not many people have time to sow every sort of vegetable that they’d like to grow early on in the year – I’m always forgetting to sow carrots and onions and other types of veg that take a while to get going. Sometimes we’re all just too busy or haven’t decided yet what we want to grow.
Gardening is not an exact science so it’s not cheating to buy ready-grown plugs through catalogues or
online, or direct from the garden centre.
It makes it easy for you to speed up the time it takes from planting to harvest, and you don’t have to guess whether or not your lovingly-sown seeds will germinate. Not to mention the fact that many of us don’t have the space or the equipment to sow trays and trays of plants.
Nurseries that grow plugs produce high quality, perfectly grown plants ready for sale at exactly the right time to get them in the ground or in pots. Happy news for gardeners all
round, I say!
Buying young plants can be more expensive than growing from seed, but it’s worth it for their reliability and quality – the hard work has been done for you. The root systems are strong and well-established and they will have been grown in good quality compost.
You can buy varying sizes of plug plants. Mini plugs may need a little more time to grow on so you can plant them in larger pots of around 7cm to get a little larger before planting them out.
Garden-ready plugs can simply be planted out as they are, but good soil preparation is essential. Rake over your ground and add good quality organic matter before planting. For neat rows of vegetables, use a string-line as a guide.
You can grow almost anything in containers, which is great for me as I have little open ground to spare. Currently, I have broad beans, strawberries, peas, kale, watercress, onions and courgettes going strong in pots, and I’m adding more all the time.
Demanding crops such as tomatoes and peppers are the best plug plants to buy, also crops that need a long time to mature, such as parsnips, leeks and Brussels sprouts.
Try a nursery-grafted potted plant (a vegetable plant grafted onto a more vigorous rootstock to ensure heavy cropping) such as the blight-resistant tomato ‘Crimson Crush’ or the early-ripening squash ‘Hunter’.
Enjoy growing – and eating – your delicious summer veg!
3 ways to… get the little ones gardening
- Give them their very own bag of tools to carry around the garden. £9.95 Dot Com Gift Shop 0208 746 2473
- Grow this snake-like gourd. One packet (five seeds) £1.69, Thompson & Morgan 0844 573 1686
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