Planting out is great – you’re at that point where you’ve seen your plants grow from seed, to seedling and now they’re big enough to be released into the wild!
I often try to write about planting out your plants – and the you do this is really simple, and it’s more or less the same for every plant you wish to grow, whether it’s cabbages, sprouts, tomatoes…etc.
I’ve grown from seed cauliflower, cabbages, pak choi, broccoli, sprouts, courgettes and cucumbers – and all in all it took me about week to plant everything out in their entirety.
Don’t cast a clout ’til May is outOld English
Leading up to planting out, there’s one phrase I always tend to keep with me, and that’s “to not cast a clout until May is out.” A ‘clout’ is an old English word for clothing, so this phrase means to not disregard your winter clothing until the end of May, and this is because we still have a risk of frost until the end of May. (Thanks Google!)
Applied in gardening, this means to not plant out your seedlings until the frost is behind us, as our plants run the risk of being subject to frost damage.
The bed I chose to plant into was the same one I’d built a brassica cage onto – the ground was a little bit compacted after months of rain and walking on top of it, so I gave the bed a light forking to help with drainage.
It was quite a hot day, and even though the ground was forked, there’s no way I could plant into this bed.
I borrowed on to the top of the forked area a healthy layer of compost from the compost bin to plant into.
Not only does this make it easier to plant into, but it’s also a mulch that will help to reduce weed growth and keep moisture into the ground.
- First you would need to dig a hole, and to help out with how big the hole should be, you can use the base of the pot as a guide. The hole should be big enough bury the plant.
2. Take the plant outside of the pot, and use your fingers to support the plant and the stem of the plant. The more you can handle the plant from the base the better.
3. Bury the plant into the pre-dug hole and neatly cover the base of the plant with the composted material, making sure that the roots are well covered and the plant is well supported into the ground.
Watering and next steps
Planting out can be a bit of a shock to the system for your plants, so I tend to get into the habit of watering a little bit every day for the first couple of weeks to make sure that they can get established.
Within a couple of weeks, you’ll see your plants take root and this will be reflected in the growth above ground.
You’ll also leaving your plants open to slugs and so you’d want to think about how to manage that. This guide here on dealing with slugs has some helpful tips you can employ to reduce slug damage.
What have you planted out recently? How are you getting on as summer gets underway? I’d love to hear in the comments below.