The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

sowing seeds v plug plants

bristol, United Kingdom Gb

i have tried sowing seeds in vermiculite with no success, open ground with mixed success and in a seed tray using a proprietry seed/cutting mixture with an exellent sucess rate
i have also bought plug plants from garden centres/b&q also with an exellent success rate.
my soil is clay unworkable when wet and rock hard when dry.
i know with plugs once they are gone that is it, but do they have an advantage over seeds or do members think about running both methods together? what is the advice?



I often buy plugs of perenials as i will only want a few plants and they come year on year. if i use seed for a few plants I feel i am wasting too much seed. I rarely buy plugs of annuals except for busy lizzies as no matter what i do i have a very poor germination rate with them. most other plants i want to grow do ok. [unless a rouge snail has a midnight feast I found it slithering away yesterday am :o(( ]

Every time you plant something dig a hole at least twice the size and dig in lots of compost. slowly you will improve the soil. add plenty of mulch too and let the worms take the stuff down for you.

30 Apr, 2009


Hi dave,

when digging your clay to plant seeds or plugs or for that matter i have found basically anything, then i suggest you get a rich compost and some rich topsoil, mix it all together so you have half and half then fill the hole up with that huns, i had perfect results when i had my clay garden.

I also dug a lot up and broke it down when dry and i added part compost and part manure to the clay and mixed them up so to speak, i aired the clay every year doing this eventualy over the 7 years i had some lovely soils.

hope this helps

30 Apr, 2009


I do both, Dave. I get plug plants of 'special' plants like Angelonia, and sow seeds of things like annual Rudbeckia. I agree about Busy Lizzies - I get plugs of those, as they need to be started so early and are difficult to germinate.

Perennials - maybe from seed, maybe plants, depending on what they are, but normally plants. I get far too many if I grow them from seed!

30 Apr, 2009


Goodness Rosina, you have worked jolly hard! No wonder you're poor body got sore, but well done for doing it, it will make plants much healthier!

Dave, I bought plug plants for Begonia's as I have a poor success rate with seeds. I also bought plugs for peas as I felt I couldn't cope with trying to grow any more seeds! Plus, as sbg says, I do feel guilty for chucking unwanted seedlings out!

Altho' having said that, I grew some seeds as I only wanted 1 colour, but in lgc and catalogue's they only sold them in mixed colours.

30 Apr, 2009


what does lgc stand for? I'm being a bit slow tonight. mind you it took me weeks to suss gc as garden centre lol.

30 Apr, 2009


local garden centre?

30 Apr, 2009


oh! not a large gc then, which was how i suddenly thought of it. still being a bit silly lol

1 May, 2009

How do I say thanks?

Answer question


Not found an answer?