Is it too soon to plant?
Photo: Angelonia 'Serena Purple', David MacTavish, Hutchinson Farm Greenhouse, May 16, 2011
How to care for your plants before you can plant them in the ground

  • Light
    Plants love light! Pots that are squished together in trays need to be spaced apart, ideally so that their leaves barely touch the next plant.
    The plants in our greenhouses have never experienced direct sun, so even sun loving plants should not be put in direct sun all day long. The ideal spot for all plants is partial shade at first, then the sun loving plants can gradually be moved into full sun.
    A couple of days in your garage is okay, but try to avoid anything longer than this.

  • Temperature
    Early May can have beautiful warm days, but it also can have frosty nights, and frost is not good for plants! Watch the forecast. If thereís any chance of frost, plants should be brought inside, or covered.
    The following plants should be brought in any time, day or night, that temps drop below 5C: Basil, Coleus, Impatiens, Nasturtiums, Tomato plants, and possibly some others I have forgotten.
    Sweet Potato Vine likes to be warm, keep these guys above 10C at all times.

  • Wind
    Keep you plants in a sheltered location. Some wind is fine. Wind plus cold is really bad, you know, the wind chill effect. If itís windy and below 10C, bring in your plants (especially the ones mentioned above), or cover them up.

  • Water
    Water only when the soil in the pot is dry. How often will depend on the plant and the growing conditions, so check before you water. Try to apply the water to the soil so the leaves stay dry. Water in the morning so that the leaves are dry overnight.

  • Fertilizer
  • Once a week. Any water soluble all purpose fertilizer (usually blue crystals that you mix in water), 1 tablespoon in 2 gallons (thatís a large watering can).

  • When is it safe to plant?
  • No one knows! The old rule of thumbs to plant on the long weekend is a good one. Check the 14 day forecast on Motherís day. If it shows only warm temperatures, then it might be time to put on your planting gloves.

    These are best practices which will ensure your plants thrive once they are planted. Not following this guide doesnít mean your flowers will all die, just do your best. Weíre happy to answer questions about your plants all season long, and we love to hear how theyíre doing in your garden.  Have a wonderful gardening season!