Firstly, unpack your plants as soon as they arrive, water if required. If you have received 9cm sized plants or plugs they will need watering more often than a larger pot as the root ball will dry more quickly. The packaging is made from recycled card, and can be re-recycled! Most of the pots are made of polypropylene and can also be recycled.
Packaging for PlantsThe 9cm plants we supply are exactly the same as plants used by nurseries and growers for potting into the sizes you would find in the garden centre. Most shrubs, climbers and containerised perennials are potted into the 2Lt (6″) and 3Lt (7″) sizes in the late autumn and early spring by wholesale growers. They are generally ready for sale to a nursery or garden centre within a few months. You can ‘cut out the middleman’ by buying our plants and potting up or planting out saving lots of money, and having the satisfaction of producing the plants from an earlier stage.
We advise that you either re-pot 9cm plants into a 2Lt (6″) or 3Lt (7″) pot as soon as possible, using a fairly coarse compost that is not too acid (about PH 5.5.)
If you already have a space free of weeds and close competition from more mature plants, they may be planted out into their final position assuming the growing conditions are right. In either case use a suitable fertiliser. We use a six-month slow release fertiliser (the little pearl or white balls in the compost) such as Miracle Grow Control Release plant food when we pot up our plants. Something similar should be used at the appropriate rate in the compost you use for potting up, or mixed into the soil around where you place your plants.
Don`t forget…climbers need something to climb on!
One of the most destructive pests of many garden plants is the Vine Weevil. This is now pretty much everywhere. As a grub it causes damage to roots and tubers over the autumn and winter. It emerges as a black weevil (like a beetle) in the late spring and causes more damage to the leaves of many plants. Keep an eye out for this and treat accordingly!
Plants that are dormant (deciduous plants over winter and autumn, or perennials that have died back for the winter) can be treated with less haste. Generally these can be held back until the buds on woody plants start to break open, or in the case of perennials, wait until the new growth starts to appear, and then either plant out or pot up.
Further Reading and Advice
The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) ‘Encyclopedia of Garden Plants’ is a marvellous tome that helps you with most aspects of plant aftercare. If I were allowed one book, and only one, it would be this.