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Protecting newly Planted seedlings

Now is the time to put those seedings into the garden.

After weeks caring for them indoors you want them to do their best when in the garden.

After hardening off the seedlings, another period of vigilance is needed. Seedlings are at risk from pests, diseases, sun, and wind damage. If you have an outdoor green house or cold frame it might be best to put new plants in there for a short period.

Sun scorch – Too much sun too soon can lead to sun damage on the plants leaves. If seedlings have been hardened off properly then sun scorch should not be an issue. Do not worry if seedlings do get a bit scorched the leaves will not be great but the plant will survive.

Wind damage – Wind can dry out leaves causing shrivelling, excess wind can cause stems to snap. Both issues can cause plants to die.

A way to help with both issues is to plant your seedling surrounded by cardboard, cardboard can provide shade and stop wind if placed correctly. Anchor the cardboard pieces into the soil around your plants, site them where wind is directed from. The cardboard also must be larger than the seedling to provide enough shade.

Cardboard can also be used to keep away pests like slugs, lay the cardboard around the seedlings and weigh down; it will entice the slugs underneath then you can lift the card and dispose of the slugs away from your baby plants.

Another tip is to remove any leaves that touch the soil from your seedling, as many pests use the leaves to climb onto the plant, they do not use the stem. This stops them from getting access to the main body of the plant and the vulnerable leaves.

You can keep other pests away like snails and cut worms but surrounding your seedlings with toothpicks, creating a barrier that is sharp that they cannot get around. It is also a natural way to protect your plants.

Other pests such as aphids, greenfly and caterpillars are after your new shots so need to be taken off each plant by hand, so keep a schedule of checking each day.

Did you know cinnamon has anti-fungal properties? Worried your soil may be too wet and fungus may be an issue? When planting your new seedlings liberally sprinkle cinnamon into the dug hole then plant your plants. The cinnamon will provide a natural barrier to fungus.

Just a few more weeks to go until your new seedlings are thriving after all your hard work!

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