Growing your Own with Plug Trays

Most gardeners will be familiar with plug plants and will no doubt seen a plug tray full of big leafy plug plants for sale in garden centres and around towns and town markets. Plug plants are a popular way to start growing vegetable plants for many reasons

Why plug plants are a great way to grow:

Hit the ground running:

with plug plants you can transplant them directly out into the vegetable plot and ensure that your vegetables get a head start on any weeds. This can be vital in the early stages of growth and crucially makes weeding your vegetable plot even easier

Beat the weather:
By growing plug plants in plug trays you can start your growing season indoors early and get your transplants out into the garden at the first sight of spring weather. This means that you can get ahead of rival gardeners and be the first to harvest your crops in mid summer and early autumn

Easy to grow:
When you are out in the elements and you are busy sowing you want life to be as simple as possible. If you have to mess around with narrow drills and little seeds sowing can become difficult. Transplanting plug plants from plug trays is easy-peasy and they can by planted in no time. Spacing plug plants is simple too and means you would waste time carefully dividing out your seeds in the seed row

Big Feet:
Plug trays are designed in a way to ensure that each plant has sufficient root space to grow and develop in its formative weeks. The base of each individual plug cell is easy to push to release the individual plants at time of planting

All kinds of everything:
You can use plug trays to grow any range of garden flowers, plants and vegetables. Plug trays are most suited to and commonly growing brassica crops such as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and sprouts. But you can also use them to start off anything from tomatoes to asparagus and then prick out and transplant into larger pots as required. This makes plug trays great space savers

If you want to plant and sow with plug trays it is advised to use a compost growing medium. Adding some perlite or vermiculite will further lighten the soil and improve the ability for the roots to spread out and fill the individual plug tray cells

Keep the compost lightly moist at all times, ideally watering the plants from below and keep the air temperature at around 18 degrees for a more conducive growing environment