Feeding Seedlings and Plug Plants

Morning everyone

Hope you all have glorious sunny weather like we have here! image

Quick question regarding plug plants and seedlings.  I have been growing these for the first time this year.  I have a huge bunch of various perennials plugs from T&M, some of which are coming on nicely and some of which seem a bif sluggish in comparison.  They're all in exactly the same place and have exactly the same conditions I was wondering if I should feed them with a general plant food?  They are in potting on compost with a bit of vermeticulite mixed in.  

With seedlings, again some of these seem to have slowed down a bit so was wondering the same thing really? 

Apologies if I'm being a bit thick! image



  • Seedling/cutting compost is purposefully low in nutrients, to stop the plants growing too fast and getting leggy. So i'd say you don't want to feed either the plugs or the seedlings.

    I've got some of the (Free) T&M plugs from last year which i think were sent back in sept last year, their in my greenhouse only just starting to grow again now. I would not worry everything has been slow this year.

  • ElusiveElusive Posts: 992

    A general purpose feed like Miracle Gro will add a lot of Nitrogen into the soil which in turn promotes leaf growth. So I guess you could use a small amount in a watering can to help them on their way image

  • PalaisglidePalaisglide Posts: 3,142

    In general you do not feed plug plants and never seedlings.
    Drop one of the plants out of the pot and check the root, if they are getting pot bound (a thick mass of white root at the bottom) then pot them on if it is too early to plant them out.
    Seeds will grow in wet sand and do not really need food like babies you have to increase the food by potting on to a richer mix.
    My mix for seeds one third compost one third washed sand one third fine grit.
    For the pricking out one Half compost one quarter sand one quarter grit.
    Final potting on three quarters compost and a quarter sand and grit mixed.
    Not all varieties grow at the same pace and not all the same variety depends on sun water and shelter from the prevailing winds.
    If you are really worried then put a spoonful of soluble fertiliser in a watering can and water the compost a little, fertiliser used at strength will give you plenty of green growth but no flowers.


  • Plants are a bit like people in that some are more vigorous and fill out quicker than others, don't worry at this stage, it just depends on the genetic make up of the plant. If the parent plant was a gooden and it was propagated from that, then you'll have a strong grower, but, likewise, if it is from a not so good parent, I don't know, let's say like a Jeremy Kyle 'show parent,' then the chances are, it will be a bit more weedy and slow growing, though hopefully less promiscuous. Hang on, that's not right, they don't normally know who the parent is, but you know what I mean!

    On a practical note, I would agree with not feeding seedlings and that seed compost is the best thing for them. Most compost mixes give enough nutrients for 4-6 weeks, after this time, assuming you've started with seed and cutting compost, you can then go on to potting on compost, which, again, will give another 4-6 weeks of nutrients. It's really important not to over feed them at the young stage. If you are going to use a liquid/granular fertiliser, then make sure it's a very weak solution, maybe 10 times weaker than for stronger plants. Nitrogen is used for leaf and root growth, so using that will help the early stages, but do make sure you then switch to a higher potassium one for flowering/fruiting plants, as you'll end up promoting foliage over flowers if you don't.

  • Hi everyone, thanks for the advice.  I think it's just my impatience again! Maybe it's just seeing them everyday - I don't notice change as much as if I'd been away for a few days.  

    Gardening seems to involve a lot of patience which I suffer from a lack of! 

    Adam Young - hilarious comparison to parents on the Jeremy Kyle show! 

  • don't over water, as some plants don't like having their feet wet, water feed would be ok once every two weeks,     hope that's helped lawrence

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