Subscribe now and SAVE up to 30% Give Amateur Gardening as a gift Subscribe to the Amateur Gardening Newsletter

kris’s blog: (pot) size matters

AG’s resident veg expert Charles Dowding has mentioned on several occasions the importance of gradually potting on plants raised from seed. From germination until ready to plant outside, this could mean potting on plants several times, only slightly increasing pot size each time – this should be done when roots are seen poking through the drainage holes below.

Well, I seem to have proof of that fact with my young gerbera plants. I sowed all my F1 ‘Revolution Terracotta’ (GroSure) seeds in one batch here in the AG office, and have been growing them on under the artificial lights of my Aero Garden.

This year I’ve been using J. Arthur Bowers grow tubes for potting on most of my flower and veg seedlings. When it came to potting up the Gerbera seedlings I actually ran out of the tubes and had to put the last few seedlings into bigger po4in (10cm) pots.

Once potted on, all plants have received the same conditions and treatment. However, as you can see from the photo here, those plants that have had their roots constrained by the narrow grow tubes are performing much better than those placed directly into the larger 4in (10cm) pots.

So while you may think your are giving your seedlings a treat with a big, roomy pot, my seedlings are perhaps proof that it pays to pot on your seedlings a few times before planting them out in the garden. Sure, you may need to spend out on more compost and more pots, but if you’re after healthy vigorous plants as early in the season as possible, it’s an investment worth making.

Related Articles:

  1. tree seeds
  2. Kris’s Blog: Good trees come to those who wait – tree seed update

    Back in a November I went off for a walk in my local woods to collect a variety of tree seeds (AG 19 Nov 2011). The seeds were promptly sown in small pots of loam-based compost, topped with perlite and sunk into soil on my veg patch, then covered with wire to keep them safe from foraging mice etc.
    Over winter…

  3. web Ivy step1
  4. Kris’s Blog: Budget topiary ball

    I thought I’d give you a quick update on the budget topiary ball I planted up back in AG 29 Oct 2011.
    At the time, I wired together two wire hanging baskets (below) to create a spherical frame and then set this over a large pot containing three small ivy plants.
    Kept in the greenhouse over winter it has put on some…

  5. support peony
  6. Kris’s blog: Raising the stakes

    This week’s sunshine has really brought about a quick change to the garden, and dormant beds are suddenly bursting forth with shoots. The first of course are the early performers including dicentra (bleeding hearts) and peonies.
    My peonies look set to put on their best show yet. I planted them three seasons ago and have been happy with their performance, but…

One Comment

  • Barbara Wilde says:
    12:15 PM on 14th May 2012

    You can see from the picture that that’s a quite incredible difference! I will definitely be putting a bit more effort into pot sizing!

Leave a Comment