Growing vegetables from seed is rewarding and fun but sometimes due to time constraints or lack of propagation equipment it just isn’t possible. Planting 4-6 week old vegetable plug plants is quick and easy and is most successful way to start a vegetable garden, especially for beginners.
Plug plants are young plants – either seedlings or cuttings grown in single units in modular trays. This allows for minimum root disturbance when planting / potting on. They are a ready to plant unit, having been professionally nurtured through propagation & early growth stages. Essentially, think of plug plants as a halfway house between a seed and a fully-grown plant.
Plug plants are easy to grow and give you a head start on the season, producing stronger plants for much less cost. Plug plants are a popular choice for many gardeners, as they are the ideal middle ground between growing plants from seed and buying fully established plants. Whilst buying seeds may be cheaper, they can be difficult to establish and take a lot of time and effort to grow on. Growing plants from cuttings can also be tricky and time consuming. Plug plants are easy to grow and care for. By choosing plug plants you are getting sturdy, little plants that have already undergone the early growing stages. Plug plants are better value for money than buying fully established plants.
How To Grow Plug Plants
- Keep trays indoors in a well-lit, draught free area for 24 hours.
- If the compost is a little dry, stand the tray in shallow water. Or spray water lightly over the tray, and then place in a position where there is adequate airflow to dry the excess water from the leaves.
- Once the compost is moist allow the tray to drain.
- Any loose compost or a slight yellowing of the leaves is a consequence of the plants being shipped. This will not affect the condition of the mature plants.
- Water 1-2 hours prior to planting on.
- Transfer the plants into small pots or seed trays filled with good quality multi-purpose compost.
- Water the plants well once, and then do not water again until the compost is nearly dry or the plants are wilting.
- Place the plants in a warm well-lit area but out of direct sunlight.
- Apply a liquid fertiliser after 2-3 weeks.
- Grow on indoors for 3-4 weeks.
- For Spring Bedding Plants, once the risk of frost has passed entirely your plug Plants can be transplanted outside.
- Harden off the plants prior to planting out, by placing them outside during the day and bringing in at night for 2 weeks.
- Water plants 1-2 hours prior to planting out.
- Once planted, water well and continue to do so in dry weather to ensure that they flourish.