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When can I plant my summer bedding? 

As we get into the euphoria – for some – of the advantages of global warming or climate change, we seem to be getting more confident about the times we plant out our summer bedding. And also try to grow some plants which were considered too tender just ten years ago.

Garden centres are now full of tender bedding plants as early as late march in some seasons.

Easter of course is the big time for gardening to begin. However, Easter is a movable festival from year to year, and does not coincide with the current seasonal weather we are having at any given time! Easter can be a beautiful warm period – it can also be cold frosty weather. It is a religious festival. It is not a signal that you can plant your summer bedding. The weather conditions will dictate that! 

In most parts of the UK, April is still far too early to be planting out tender bedding plants – especially those available which have not been properly hardened off (the vast majority of them!) This includes tender or half hardy  plants such Petunias and Fuchsias, as Growers naturally want to extend the spring season – as do garden centres. They need to get their first crops out of the way in order to have room for a second – and third crop!

A selection of Summer Bedding plants
So, for the milder areas, tender bedding plants should be planted out towards end of May – and even then with a risk of frost or cold weather.

Some bedding plants are a little hardier than others, such as pansies, lobelia and alyssum. Forget impatiens, begonias and salvias until it is much warmer. Hardening off your bedding plants is essential for success.

Containers and hanging baskets can be planted up sooner, for it is easier to protect these from the early cold weather.    

 Email Question >>>>>

I live in Nottingham. Is it still to early to buy bedding plants? We have had some early morning frosts? Advice please since husband thinks it is OK to do so! Sincerely

Answer >>>>>

Yes - Too early. Mid May at the soonest, otherwise the cold, not just frost, will set back if not kill the early planted summer bedding. Garden Centres ashamedly are happy to cash in on the fact that they can sell Summer bedding twice!
Rgds David H


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