Thanks so much for purchasing one of our seedlings! This feels extra special for us as much as it does for you because it’s our plan to only offer these seedlings this year, but with all the incredible responses we’ve received, we will find another way to get more audacious blooms into your garden for years to come!
All of our seedlings should be labeled and be hardened off, which means they can stay outside! If the weather throws us a loop and it somehow freezes again, we would recommend finding some way to cover the seedlings, but Hamilton’s zone 6b is predicted to be frost-free after May 3rd, so you should be fine to plant anytime! If you are going to wait to plant, just make sure to keep the seedlings in a sunny spot and water them regularly!
When transplanting your seedings, you have lots of options! Because we planted in peat pots, you can just dig a hole and place the seedlings right into the ground. The pots will break down over time and you won’t even remember they’re there.
Some seedlings really struggle with transplanting so if you want to take them out of the pots to plant them, I would recommend researching before doing so. I would love to write out a list but there are waaaaay too many, so I will EMPOWER you to use a popular search engine and type out ‘transplanting ________ seedlings’ - the first option will give you a warning if you should be extra gentle.
Hamilton dirt can be very clay-like and tough, and its good to remember that your plant can only produce with what it is planted in, so if possible, I recommend adding some good compost when planting. Dig a hole twice the size of the seedling you are planting and fill it with compost like manure, worm casting or organic garden soil. Once you’ve tucked your seedling in, create a little mound and water well.
If you are planting into a pot or other container, remember that you now have to mimic the environment a plant would have if it was in the dirt. The most important part of this is making sure there is enough water, but not more than the soil will hold on its own. Plants need oxygen to their roots as much as they need water so I would recommend planting in something with good drainage so you can soak the plant without drowning it. Make sure the soil is nice and wet when you plant.
Once your seedling is planted, keep an eye on the weather and water when there are several dry days in a row. Fertilize monthly if possible, ideally with a slow-release organic fertilizer. I like using fish emulsion in the water, or bone meal or worm castings mixed into the compost. If plants seem like they are struggling to grow straight on their own, use sticks and gently tied twine to create structure and support until their stems thicken up.
Some plants will benefit from pinching once they are planted and over 12” tall. Pinch is when you trim the main stem (the apical meristem) right above a set of leaves with some clean shears. This signals the plant to produce more branches, meaning a fuller, more abundant plant. However, certain plants only produce one bloom, such as stock and some varieties of sunflowers. Always make sure you know before you snip!