Plug plants are seedlings previously grown in small cells and easily transplanted into large pots or flowerbeds once the roots have sufficiently matured. These seedlings make planting easy, but buying trays of plug plants is an expensive investment. Save money by growing your own plug plant garden. While this task takes more time, it is cost-friendly and gives you more options.
The Kinds of Plug Plants
You can grow all types of seeds into plug plants, including flowers, herbs, and even vegetables. You can also grow them to different stages of maturity, but keep in mind transplanting the plant is easier as it gets older. Mini plugs need extra care and further growing in a greenhouse before planting. Although mini plugs are easy to plant, the plants usually only last for one season. Medium plug plants are only slightly larger but hardier and easily transplanted. Large plugs are the easiest to plant out and are perfect if you are impatient for them to grow.
Use a Cell Seed Tray
When growing a plug plant garden, decide how many plants you want to grow then buy the appropriate cell seed tray. These trays have a range of 12 to over 300 cells. If it is your first time germinating seeds, consider using a starter tray to help develop your gardening skills. The starter tray offers prepared plugs and a water chamber underneath the plants, so the seeds always receive the right amount of water.
Create the Right Environment
For seeds to germinate and grow into plug plants, you must provide the right nurturing environment. First, purchase a seed tray propagator or use the propagator that comes with your starter kit. This dome controls the temperature and humidity when the tray is in sunlight. You can also place trays under a grow light. In both methods, it is important to keep the tray's environment at 21 to 26 degrees Celsius. Keep the soil moist, but too little or too much water can kill the plants.
Hardening the Plug Plants
Plug plants grow in a protected environment, away from the harsh wind and cold temperatures of the outdoors. Before you plant out, you need to harden the plants, which is acclimating them to the outdoors. Start by setting the plants outside for just a couple of hours before returning the tray to its controlled environment. Increase this exposed time each day and continue to water the plants. This final stage before transplanting can take about 10 days before the seedlings are conditioned.
How to Plant the Plug Plants
When the plug plants are finally grown, be sure to water them a few hours before planting out. Then, push up the bottom of each cell to gently remove the plug, and plant them into their new home. Once planted, water the seedlings again and regularly during dry spells. Cover the plants at night if there is a chance of frost.