About my garden

Sunday 27 July 2014

72 plug plants

Back in March Thompson and Morgan sent me an email offer to buy 72 plugs of perennial plants at a reduced price.
I'm not quite sure what made me think 72 plants was a good idea. 
Possibly it was March and the garden was low and empty. More likely it was because there were Echinacea included and I wanted some Echinacea plants. Probably I thought it was a good price as they can be quite pricey for just one plant.
There were 12 varieties:
Anyway I bought them and, some months later (April or May, I think), they arrived. They were smaller than I expected. I hadn't really looked up what sort of size they would be but I did expect to be able to see them with my naked eye.
They came in one packet about 25cm by 35cm and 2cm deep. The plants were in these tiny plastic holders:

I suppose postage costs  and ecological issues have to be taken in to consideration and so the packaging gets smaller. These little modules were in a plastic case and had a cardboard sleeve, so were protected. But I am amazed that anything can grow in these,they are not more that 1cm square.
Some of the little plants looked very healthy and some looked quite sickly. I don't think plants are supposed to travel in this way, that's why they have roots. I didn't complain to T&M at the time (about the health of them) so I shouldn't make too much of it here. 
Also the carnations were substituted by some extra Penstemons. Again, though I wasn't happy about that, I didn't contact T&M at the time. I would have been happier with six of something different.
So I pricked them all out into seed trays and one large module tray that I had empty.

I had more than 72 by the time I had planted them all. Tiny though they were, some of the modules had two or more seedling in them. I managed to separate some of them  but some were tightly bound up with each other. This was because I wanted the best for the plants you understand, not because I'm tight or anything!
I forgot to take photos of the tiny seedling in the modules but look at them last week:
There is one tray missing here. 
A few plants died. They didn't look great when they arrived. Interestingly the plants in the seed trays are bigger and healthier than the ones in the module tray, they have more root room. I have to confess that I didn't get them planted out soon enough. Holiday and life got in the way. 
So now when the garden is at it's fullest, I have had to try and find space for them all. A few are now in bigger pots, some went straight into the flower borders but most are squeezed into rows between other things. Now it's a case of remembering where they are and watering!
I have at least 70 little plants including 9 Echinacea. Which is interesting as there were only 6 modules of each. 
My verdict:
Plants are amazing and can recover from difficult conditions. 
Check what you are buying.
I now have 70 healthy plants with not much effort from me so -                                                                  yes - they were worth buying!

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