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Pot up or plant out?

Found a packet of Sunflower Autumn Beauty at the back of a kitchen drawer.  Sowed about 3 weeks ago.  Have now lots of sprouted seedlings.  Should I now pot them up into individual pots to grow on some more, or should I put straight into the ground?  Worried slugs will have a field day with them, assuming slugs like them.  Pics of how they currently look below.  Packet says they can grow up to 6 foot tall, so got some growing to go yet!  I'm not trying to win any competitions.  :D


  • B3B3 Posts: 26,492
    Once they get fat hairy stems, the slugs tend to lose interest. They would love your seedlings😋
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • LynLyn Posts: 22,860
    You could pull the smaller ones out and give the others a chance but no way can you plant them out yet.  There’s  rather a lot there, they’ll all need staking. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • BenDoverBenDover Posts: 484
    Thanks, both - I'll pot them on.

    I didn't think so many would sprout plus the seeds were at least a year passed their sow by date, that's why some of the individual pods have four seedlings coming up as I was covering my bets.
  • bertrand-mabelbertrand-mabel Posts: 2,527
    I sowed leeks seeds which should have been sowed by 2018. All germinated.
    Always worth giving seeds a chance no matter how old the packet is.
  • LynLyn Posts: 22,860
    edited May 2020
    I wouldn’t pot them on until they are bigger and got stronger roots, I’d just pull out the weaker ones and give the one remaining in the module a good chance.
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • BenDoverBenDover Posts: 484
    So, somebody informed me when potting up seedlings you can bury the stem down to where the cotyledon leaves are.  I read up that cotyledon leaves are the first set of leaves that grow from seeds.  I've always thought that when moving plants they should be planted at the same depth as they were originally, except in specific circumstances (ie, clematis).  Anybody confirm what I've been told.
  • Honestly on some occasions I've even potted up to the first set of true leaves, particularly where seedlings got all leggy then fell over and twisted back on themselves to reach the light. Did it last year with a tray of Agastache and it worked wonders.

    That said I should think it very much depends on the plant. Try some potted on deeper, and some shallower. And remember which way worked best for next time.
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