Plug Plants and Summer Fair

(9 Posts)
OctopusArmEnvy Sun 10-Apr-16 10:39:38

To say Im not green fingered would be a huge understatement but what I lack in ability I like to make up for with enthusiasm ;-)
Our School Summer Fair is on the 2nd July and Im in charge of stocking the plant stall (amongst many many other things). I've decided to approach local nurseries nearer the time for donations but wanted a core stock just in case we got nothing.
Ive ordered this...
www.suttons.co.uk/Gardening/Flower+Plants/All+Flower+Plants/Extra+Value+Plug+Plants+-+Collection_MH3715.htm?gclid=CjwKEAjw86e4BRCnzuWGlpjLoUcSJACaHG55Pcxw1812O4BVvQ6dbTgqMxjvAOzz7wlf9cCckdSUFRoCnqvw_wcB#fo_c=1258&fo_k=963205459a747b56b98871c41a7085e5&fo_s=gplauk
Incase link fails its the plug plant extra value collection from Suttons Seeds and includes things like Begonias and Petunias.
I plan on potting these on into 9cm pots and looking after them till the fair. My problem is what do I need to do to keep them alive and growing and will the 9cm pots be big enough??
Thank you!!

DoreenLethal Sun 10-Apr-16 10:53:40

Have you got 540 9cm pots? And space for them? And compost? They will need somewhere like a greenhouse or polytunnel and to not dry out esp over weekends.

You can get trays from garden centres that they don't need any more - that you can sit 21 pots in to move them around more easily.

To keep them alive you just need to make sure they get light and water.

Ideally, what we do is prick out into plugs, then into small pots, then into medium ones and then into the 9cm ones. If you put them straight into the 9cm ones, the nutrients can wash out by the time the roots get to the main compost area. You can reduce this by having them in trays with no holes in, and putting the water in the tray so that the plant soaks up the water it needs, rather than watering from the top and washing away those nutrients.

bookbook Sun 10-Apr-16 18:28:39

wow, thats a lot of plug plants.....
We have a local facebook page, and they usually ask for plant donations come school fair time. I always have spare potted up rooted cuttings/ seedlings . They usually get quite a decent haul from just asking locals for actual plants

funnyperson Sun 10-Apr-16 19:47:21

doreen lethal if you do that don't the plants get waterlogged?

WhoKnowsWhereTheT1meGoes Sun 10-Apr-16 19:52:30

I never knew that about going straight to bigger pots or watering from the top. I do use solid bottom trays though and water little and often, you do quickly get the hang of how much to give them.

It might be worth trying local Freegle groups for used plant pots/trays etc. It might also be worth contacting your local allotment association to ask if any members could donate spare seedlings.

RingUpRingRingDown Sun 10-Apr-16 20:01:47

Plug plants are very hard work IMHO (and I'm quite an experienced gardener) with a very poor success rate unless you can devote hours to their care and have a greenhouse.

I would ask for donations and grow seeds in pots instead - French beans, courgettes, peas - that germinate easily and take almost no effort to grow,

OctopusArmEnvy Mon 11-Apr-16 08:17:41

Thank you everyone! Hmm does suddenly sound like a lot more hard work than I was hoping. No greenhouse so would just be on my patio which again now doesn't sound massively sensible. Think I'll sew some peas and beans just in case they all die off!!
Thanks xx

funnyperson Mon 11-Apr-16 09:12:26

yes, you do need to be prepared . Twice i've had lavender plug plants from a 'postage only' special offer and they havent survived. not one of 24

shovetheholly Mon 11-Apr-16 10:09:19

Goodness me! You're going for it on an industrial scale! I am a bit worried as to whether you'll have room for 540 pots - that is a LOT!

First things first, you need to find out where you can get kit. Pots can be bought cheaply on the internet - Amazon sell 500 for around £35, but I bet you can get even cheaper ones. www.amazon.co.uk/Plastic-Plant-Pots-Black-Square/dp/B008XJFI0M

A 9cm pot takes around 0.3 litres of compost, so you need at least 162 litres of compost. John Innes number 3 comes in 25 litre bags, so you'll need 7 or so. At 3 for £12 that's around £30. I'd add a pack of perlite to that for an extra £4.

Then you need to water and feed them until July - small pots can dry out quickly in hot weather so this will be a matter of constant vigilance if they are outdoors. They may need some care too - shaping, for instance.

In total, this means that it'll cost you about £100. That's a lot for quite a risky venture. Are the returns going to be worth it?

Is there any way you can split the delivery with others and do a bit each?

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