Pot up a size, or straight into big 'uns - and a couple of other questions

Discussion in 'Container Gardening' started by Fat Controller, May 13, 2013.

  1. Fat Controller

    Fat Controller 'Cuddly' Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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    I've been working all weekend, so not been near the garden apart from some watering duties, and things are moving along. I am hoping that the chillier evenings that we are seeing through this next week or so are short lived, as I want to start getting my outdoor tomatoes (Ailsa Craig, Maskotka & Millefleur) out to start hardening up; also, I have 6 cucumbers and 8 courgette plants on the kitchen windowsill in peat pots that are ready to move to something bigger (as evidenced by the roots poking through and the pots slowly disintegrating).

    Now, my tomatoes are currently in plastic cups, so I am wondering if I move them into slightly larger houseplant pots and then onto their big pots later on, or do I whack them straight into their final pots now?

    Same question really for the cucumbers and courgettes - is there any benefit to upsizing them in stages, or are they as well put into their final pots sooner rather than later?

    Also, and somewhat embarrassingly, I still haven't prepared my pea and bean beds and therefore haven't sown any yet (both my spade and my fork bit the dust on the bank holiday and I need to wait for pay day to replace them) - would it be a good idea to sow them into peat pots to get them started on the kitchen window sill, or should I wait and sow direct into the prepared beds (which will realistically be on my next day off which is the 27th of this month)?
     
  2. Freddy

    Freddy Miserable git, well known for it

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    Hiya FC.

    I think the general consensus is to pot on in stages. It might be the case that one more potting on will be all that's needed before planting out. Regarding your Peas and Beans, the choice is yours. I've only grown Peas once, but I did rather well sowing 3 to a 4" pot, and then planting out once they'd been up after a week or so. I always sow my Runners direct as I find they tend to rot if sown under cover...my bad.

    Cheers...Freddy
     
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    • Fat Controller

      Fat Controller 'Cuddly' Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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      Champion - cheers Freddy :)

      I don't seem to be keeping upsides with the garden so far this year, so I have a 'to do' list that seems extra long - however, if I go for a silly shortcut and it ends up being a disaster I'd only end up frustrated.
       
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      • pete

        pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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        I'd pot on rather than moving to bigger pots just now.
        The cool weather means a plant could sit in a large pot of wet compost for a very long time.
        Smaller pots dry out faster but that is a benefit until we get some sustained warmth.
         
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        • Kristen

          Kristen Under gardener

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          I think Plastic Cup to a 12" pot is a big leap. Its a bit of a judgement call though, as things like Toms grow at a cracking lick, so are more able to cope than things that grow slowly.

          But even for high speed things it is never wrong to pot on in stages - except that it requires more of your time of course.

          The critical issue, as Pete has said, is that if you put a tiny plant in a large pot there is a lot of water in the compost for it to drink, and it will take it a while mean time the roots will be wetter than the plant wants ... and if it can't easily cope with that then it will succumb.

          I normally thorn out direct to 9cm pots. This year to save space (more seedlings, everything late) I've gone to 1" modules first. I've had very few losses this year, whereas in a normal 9cm year I do expect some.
           
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          • sumbody

            sumbody Gardener

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            I always prickout into 1" cell trays (or smaller ones for Petunias then into 1") - then into 9cm square pots once roots have filled cells - saves lots of space, and I agree fewer losses. With the chillies they move from 9cm to 1.5l then to 5 and finally to 10. A lot of faffing about but works for me. Although my toms go from 9cm straight to 10 litre once roots have filled pots.

            S
             
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