New gardeners are keen to get going and it may be painful to wait for several months to grow your own from seed or cuttings. Fortunately there are several ways to shortcut the process by buying starter plants.
- Plug plants are available from mail order seed merchants and local garden centers. These plugs are plants grown for gardeners to ‘grow on’ (ie allow to develop in a bigger pot for a while) or to harden off and plant out. Check the instructions that generally come with the plugs.
- Jumbo plugs are what they say in the name. More compost and bigger plants at a bigger price but I buy these for special perennials or quicker colour displays.
- Early in the spring you can find small individual seeded pots sown densely then germinated so the seedlings can be pricking out and grown on.
- Bigger seeds are often available in a nest of 4,6 or more black plastic pots. I buy special tomato varieties and some vegetables this way.
- Local market stalls and nurseries will sell plants in individual pots. This can give you a quick start but take care. Plants should look right ( not be drawn and thin) and pots should be an appropriate size for the plant with no roots growing out of the holes in the base or weeds on the surface.
Sweet pea seedlings from a local grower