How to Care for Your Plant Sale Plants

Now that your plants are home, what can you do to ensure their strongest performance? Read on to learn what our Plant Sale Committee recommends.

From Pot to Planting…

This is a weather and water story. The care taken for new plants helps to reduce stress and weakness. Our springtime temperatures vary from day to day, night to night. It is best to protect your beautiful new plants until nighttime temps are a consistent 50 degrees. In early spring new plants need to be “hardened off”. 

Here are some tips to harden off your plants. Most ornamental and some edible plants should be protected from cold and wind. Tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, cucumber, and peppers do not tolerate cold soil. 

  • Once home, nighttime storage in a garage or protected area works well. 
  • On warm sunny days, the plants should be exposed to fresh air but protected from wind. 
  • Harsh direct sun should be avoided, semi-shade is a good location. 
  • Moisture must be maintained for healthy, strong plants.

Protecting Your Plants Once Planted Until the Weather Warms

If the plants have been planted in containers, bring the container into the garage at night. If the container is too heavy to move, cover the planter with lightweight fabric for the night. Secure the fabric around the container with binder clips to provide wind protection. 

If plants are in the ground, cover them with lightweight fabric and use bricks to anchor the cloth. When covering planted plants use pea sticks to elevate the cloth making a tent effect.

CowPots: Several varieties from the Plant Sale are grown in biodegradable CowPots. These plants need protection the same as the plants in black grower pots. Pay special attention to watering these plants until you are ready to plant them. When planting be sure to sink the entire pot low enough into the soil so the top rim is below the soil level to avoid drying out.

Kitchen Minis: These potted vegetable plants can be placed inside on a sunny windowsill or outside on a patio table. Be sure to place your plant in a location with good light and keep it watered to allow the fruit to ripen. Ready to harvest in about four to six weeks. Feel free to set the black growers pot into a decorative container.

Plastic Pot Return: The Conservatory recycles all plant sale grower pots to use next year. If you have your empty pots ready just stack them up and bring them back to us beginning May 19, the same day as the Plant & Tool Exchange.

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