Forum home The potting shed

When can I plant them out

Simone_in_WiltshireSimone_in_Wiltshire Posts: 1,043
edited April 2023 in The potting shed
Having made the mistake to plant too early, I now want to do it right, but when is the right moment?

From left to right: Phlox, Cleome, Aster

Snapdragons for the window box (and beds for which I want to wait until they have grown more)

Marigold for the window box

Zinna for the bed

Salvia for the beds.

One of the too early  planted, had to save, this Salvia grows 30cm. Can I risk it now receptively next weekend when temperatures rise again?

Many thanks in advance.

I my garden.



  • punkdocpunkdoc Posts: 14,966
    Most of those plants are too small to be planted outside.
    Some of them: Zinnia and Cleome are tender annuals and can't go out until late May, early June.
    Salvia, depends on type, some are hardy, some are tender.

    I think they all need potting on.
    How can you lie there and think of England
    When you don't even know who's in the team

    S.Yorkshire/Derbyshire border
  • Many thanks @punkdoc. I will do it over the weekend. 

    I my garden.

  • LynLyn Posts: 23,190
    The zinnias and salvia will get eaten by slugs if you put them out as small plants,  pot them all on into individual pots and keep sheltered for another 4 weeks. 
    I haven’t grown Cleome for a few years but I think that succumbs to slugs as well. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Many thanks @Lyn. I have seized the dry evening and potted on all plants. 
    Yes, the slugs is the reason next to the missing sun and cold that I underestimated. I will keep everything in the greenhouse until they are big enough to be planted. 

    I my garden.

  • Robert WestRobert West Posts: 236
    I'm an impatient sod, but I have SLOWLY learned over the years that there really is no benefit to planting out too early, other than it just makes the garden look nicer in the short term . Plants are just more likely to struggle or get eaten. 
  • punkdocpunkdoc Posts: 14,966
    Be very careful with the Zinnia and Cleome, they really do not like the cold. I don't plant them out until June.
    How can you lie there and think of England
    When you don't even know who's in the team

    S.Yorkshire/Derbyshire border
  • Many thanks for your tips. @Robert West The biggest problem is to sow seeds at a time that allows to have the pots as long as needed in the greenhouse without interference by the weather and running out of space. Since I have the greenhouse (Winter 2019/2020), I have experienced 3 different Springs. I had looked into my garden blog, and I had planted the wildflowers on the 8 March 2020 respectively 17 March 2021, and they grew fine. This year, they don't seem to grow at all. It looks like they are waiting, and while waiting, the slugs come across and enjoy the meal. Not to mention my cat that pinches out the catmint if it's not completely eaten by her.
    I will try to clean the greenhouse over the weekend so that I can rearrange everything. We had so windy, rainy, poor weather all the time, it was too risky to put out the plants while cleaning the greenhouse.
    My chilli plants in the flat are growing like crazy, are a half a meter high and get first chillies. I had hoped I can put them into the greenhouse in May.

    I my garden.

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,860
    It's rarely beneficial to sow too early - you need the room to grow everything on undercover, and that can be difficult if everything germinates. 
    Better to do two sowings - an early one and then another one a month later, and see the difference. Once outside, you'll usually find the later sown ones catch up anyway, and often do better as they've had less coddling. 
    As the others have said - putting vulnerable small plants out usually ends badly, as they get eaten or annihilated by bad weather. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • This time of year is one of the most difficult for a lot of gardeners. We are all impatient to get sowing, looking forward to better weather and some warmth but it really is a "sit on you hands! " time.
    So many people sow far too early and are then disappointed when seed does not germinate or seedlings get leggy or damp off. If they plant out baby plants the slugs have an early Christmas and demolish the lot.
    April is a deadly month when extremes of temperature can wreak havoc on anything tender.
    As the years go by a lot of us have learnt from experience to be patient. Plants inevitably catch up and are usually much stronger more productive plants.
  • So is it definitely not too late to sow another lot of seeds, to hopefully germinate in the unheated greenhouse? Marigolds, cosmos, nasturtiums, rudbeckia?
Sign In or Register to comment.