Young plants – vegetables and flowers – will grow fast over the next few months if you plant them out now. They like the warmth of summer and any summer rain.

gaps in your garden. young plants

Cosmos ready to be planted out in the ground or in gap-filling pots

You can plant these young plants now

Vegetables that are ready to be planted out include peas, summer beans, tomatoes, courgettes, squash, sweet peppers, chilli peppers, salad leaves, brassicas (that’s the cabbage family including kale, broccoli and cauliflower) and herbs.

Summer bedding plants that are ready to be planted out include pelargonium, Californian poppy, begonia, sweet peas, lobelia, petunia, busy lizzie, antirrhinum or snapdragon, rudbeckia and cosmos.

Think about their roots

When you’re planting out young plants the key to success is looking after the roots. Happy, well established roots will support the plant and allow it to grow away successfully.

Water the young plants

Water the young plants about an hour before you want to plant them out.

young plants

Young runner bean plants. M K Stone

Prepare the ground

Prepare the ground where you’re going to plant by forking it over a little and removing any weeds.

If you're planting any members of the cabbage family, firm the soil down. They grow into heavy plants so it’s extra important that their roots are held firmly in position.

If you're planting in a growbag, shake it to get rid of any lumpy bits. Mound the compost into a hummock all along the bag so the roots have somewhere good to grow.

Plant your plants!

  1. Take the young plant out of its pot. Do this by putting your hand over the compost in the pot and tipping it over to ease the plant out. If it’s not keen to move, knock the bottom of the pot with your trowel. Don't yank the stem.
  2. Don’t damage the roots so try not to touch them.
  3. Use a trowel to dig a hole that’s a bit bigger than the size of the plant and its rootball (that’s all the earth that the roots are holding together).
  4. Put the plant and rootball into the hole, making sure that the top of the rootball is level with the top of the ground.** You may have to adjust the depth of the hole to make sure that it’s OK.
  5. Fill in the hole with earth.
  6. Using your two index fingers and your two thumbs in a square around the plant, firm it into place. Brush earth over to make sure it’s level with the rest of the ground.
  7. Water thoroughly. This will wash earth into any little air spaces around the roots and make sure they’ve got something to grow into.
  8. Check the plants every day and water them if the soil seems dry when you poke your finger into it.

** Tomatoes are an exception to this rule. These young plants like to be planted deeper than other ones, right up to their seed leaves or even deeper. That’s because they can grow roots further up the stem which will anchor the plant as it gets bigger – and heavier with all those tomatoes!

Enjoy watching the young plants grow. Admire the flowers and eat the veg!

Ripening cherry tomatoes. Young plants Tomato plants

Ripening cherry tomatoes