Planting New Perennials out or Potting Them Up

mary_maxApril 12, 2012

In the past the perennials that I wintersowed would be planted out but I have lost so many when plants around them take over. I am thinking perhaps I better pot the perennials up for a year or two until they are more developed. It will be more work but at least I might save them. How do you folks do it?

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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

I have a clay based soil - lots of organic material added and I've been amending for years but still not the friendliest to tiniest roots. So based on that, those things that are slow growing and important to me, I'll pot up until they can establish a good strong root system. Using 4" wide x 5" deep pots, sometimes they are even ready by Fall, that extra 6 months can make an amazing amount of difference...

A tip though, we're rarely gone for more than 3-4 days at a time in summer so it works OK here - young plants in pots aren't as independent as when in the ground, need some care.

I'm just not one to be planting out at first set of true leaves, we all have to know what works best in our own gardens :)

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 6:31PM
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You know your garden and schedule best--do what works for you that gives you the success you want. Some of us have holding beds, some pot up and plant later on, and some of us plant the seedlings and let the garden duke it out for survival of the fittest.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 9:41PM
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When I was a new WSer, I did a great deal of "potting up". I just didn't trust that those tiny sprouts were going to thrive in my beds. It took a great deal of time (and pro-mix)and delayed my planting out till the hot weather made me miserable.

For the past 4 years or so, at least 90% of my seedlings go directly from "jug to bed". The exceptions I've made are usually perennial varities that I've gotten great germination on, but the sprouts are so tiny and slow growing (Lady's Mantle and Heurchura come to mind.) I pot them up not only to give them a bit more time and space to get bigger, but because I have so many, it's easier to give them away to others in pots.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 9:52PM
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northerner_on(Z5A ONCanada)

My seedlings ususally go from container to the ground, but this year I will be doing some 'potting up' because I am re-building my garden, and know the beds will not be ready in time for my perennials. I expect they will go in over the summer months and into the fall. It will be more work, but I think the effect next year will be worth it

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 10:15PM
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bakemom_gw(z6 Central Ohio)

Mine generally go into the ground. I do put some in pots for fall plant out where I am working on the bed or clearing out invasives.

I am re-working my woodland garden this year and will use pros for the big cleanup and my landscaper for her wisdom on large plants/shrubs etc. In the meantime, I am potting up shade plants again, for fall plantout.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 7:55AM
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kqcrna(z6 SW Oh)

Like Mary Max, I lose a fair number of tiny perennials as surrounding plants overtake them in the yard. I know I should pot some up, but I'm terrible about watering. I'd probably lose half of them in pots too. Sad but true.

I think a nursery bed in the yard is the ideal solution. Planting only seedlings there, which will stay small for a long time, solves the problem. If something gets too big, it can be moved sooner, but otherwise should be able to stay put until transplanting in fall.

I used to have a dedicated nursery area in my yard- small, but enough- and it worked so well. Eventually I planted big plants there, then the area was covered with a new deck, and my nursery bed was history.

I'm planning to dedicate another area as a nursery bed this year, I hope. I have a part shade area that would work well for things like penstemon and sempervivum that will stay small all summer.


    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 7:35PM
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