More bedding plants are lost through careless planting than by pests or diseases. If you want success with your bedding plants, then the planting part of the operation must be done properly.
Then you will be sure that your plants are off to a good start and will flower not too long after planting.
There are a few things to bear in mind before you set about planting your bedding plants. Poor planting can set the plant back a few weeks or more as a result of stress! Yes, plants can also suffer stress!
Most transplanting stress is caused by lack of moisture. However careful you are in removing the young bedding plants from their small pot or plant boxes, you will destroy many of the microscopic root hairs which are responsible for the uptake of water into the plant.
Remember that most bedding plants have been grown in well controlled environmental conditions in order to look their best when arriving at the point of sale - ie your garden centre. You cannot compete with these conditions. So, take extra care to ensure satisfaction when planting your bedding plants.
Do make sure that your new bedding plants are watered well for a few hours before planting out.
Be as careful as you can when either removing them from their growing pots or bedding strips.
If your bedding plants are growing in 'strips' or multi-plant boxes, carefully separate them from each other at the root system.
Make sure that the bed or container where the new plant is going to be planted has been well watered - but not soggy.
Dig out a hole large enough with a trowel or similar - not too deep. Just the right depth for the plant's roots.
Have some fine compost ready - especially if your soil is lumpy still - or heavy clay. use it to backfill round the roots, rather than try to push the garden soil around the roots.
Make sure that the plant is firmly in place by gently pushing soil/compost around the roots zone.
Do NOT plant new plants in the middle of the day in hot weather. Either get up early, or better still do it late afternoon. There will be less stress on the plant due to water loss, if the plant has time to settle in overnight.
Water the plant into the ground. This helps to settle soil in tight around the root area as well as helping the plant through initial stages of establishment.
Water the plants morning and evening for the first few days. Avoid watering in brigh hot sun. This could cause scorch to leaves as the water droplets act as magnifying glasses on the leaves.
begonias and busy lizzies in particular, should not be watered in sunny conditions. Early morning is best, to allow the water droplets to evaporate before the sun does damage.
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