Once you’ve spent your time carefully growing plants in your greenhouse, you may want to plant them out in your garden, so you can get the benefit of their beauty outside too. But when is the right time to plant out greenhouse grown plants?
Different plants take different amounts of time to grow and the right time to take a plant outside to plant in the garden inevitably varies from plant to plant. But there are practical factors to take into consideration before you move your plants from the comfort and warmth of your greenhouse to the outdoor world.
Greenhouses creaste a great environment in which to grow plants, whether from seeds, cuttings, bulbs or other growing methods. A greenhouse typically provides warmth, light and shelter for plants and is the ideal place for seeds to germinate and young seedlings to grow and mature.
Moving plants from the warmth and safety of this environment, especially when it’s relatively pest-free, and into the outdoor world can come as a shock to some plants, especially young seedlings. Hardy plants fare better, but for all plants that you’re planning on moving outside, acclimatising them and getting them used to being in the outside world first can help make the move a lot better.
Acclimatising Greenhouse Grown Plants
If you’re planning on planting out some of your greenhouse grown plants, whether flowers, vegetables or fruits, and especially if you’re doing so in the early spring, then it’s a good idea to introduce them slowly.
Transfer the required plants into pots, along with compost, and pop the plants outside in the air for a few days, taking them back into your greenhouse again at night. This will help the plants adjust to the outdoor temperature and hopefully help them cope far better when they do get planted out.
It’s especially helpful if the weather is still chilly or there are still risks of frosts occurring. For vegetable or fruit plants that you want to plant in the spring, it’s better to try and avoid planting them out at all if there’s still a risk of frosts occurring at night, as this can hinder growth.
Ensuring Plants are Hardy Before Being Planted Out
Another useful way of gauging whether you’re greenhouse grown plants are ready to be planted out is to assess how hardy they are. If you’ve grown plants from seed and have a lot of them, then it may be tempting to transfer young seedlings out into the garden early on. But be warned – both the weather and garden pests could be detrimental.
The plants may be fine in the greenhouse but, from experience, slugs have a worringly good ability to sniff out newly planted seedlings and start eating them as soon as they’re in the garden – even on the first night! There are of course anti-slug methods you can employ, some more effective than others depending on your view of whether or not you want to use slug pellets.
There’s absolutely no reason why plants grown in the greenhouse won’t thrive in the garden, but they may just need a bit of extra care when being introduced to the outside world in the first instance.