The green finger icon Monty Don shaped our plant habits through his years of ingenious tips and tricks – for all horticultural practices for amateur and professional gardeners alike. From tips on removing weeds to advice on growing vegetables, Monty has influenced gardens on both sides of the Atlantic. but his latest advice may be his most valuable yet.
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Gardeners of all abilities have likely “repotted” a plant – the seemingly simple process of moving seedlings into a larger container. However, this initially easy task is not quite as easy as it initially seems. In a video for TogetherTV, Monty Don revealed the most common potting mistakes we all make and demonstrated his new method that will save us a lot of compost.
The most common pot mistake by Monty Don
The success of a pot depends on the strength of the plant, so it’s important to make sure your root is as healthy as possible throughout the pre-potting phase. Before keeping the compost in the pot stage, Monty suggests using more in the seeding process to create a longer root run.
“It is a false economy not to fill seed trays with compost. The more compost you have in it, the longer the root canal can be and the healthier it will grow, ”he says.
“I fill up to the brim and then just wipe off the excess,” adds Monty.
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While Monty’s post-potting tip has already exposed a common misconception, Monty shares that the biggest mistake comes from choosing the right pot.
‘Ideally in one pot you just have [around] an inch of fresh compost so it can grow into it. Don’t be tempted to get the biggest pot you have and just think [your plants] will grow tremendously. It won’t do any good and it’s a complete waste of compost, ”he says.
Do other gardening experts agree?
Before we completely changed our potting habits, we took advice from the people at the forefront of the composting world. But do you agree with the beloved British gardener?
Building on Monty’s pre-pot sowing tip, Kate Turner, Gardening Guru at Miracle Gro, also urges us to make sure we are using enough compost to encourage the seeds to grow.
“I would add Monty’s advice that you need to replenish them because the seeds are always looking for light as soon as they appear. If there’s too much black plastic in the way, they’ll have trouble growing,” shares Kate.
Kate then stressed the importance of choosing an appropriately sized pot and similarly warned us about an unnecessarily large pot.
‘When’ potting ‘from a seed pan or from a pot to a larger one, simply go one size up. If it’s too big, the seedling won’t send out its roots and will sulk and possibly rot when you water for the larger pot, but the roots are not fully grown. For seedlings from seed trays, small pressure pots are ideal or a pot no larger than 7 cm, ”explains Kate.
If you are sowing larger seeds like zucchini and pumpkin, do not sow in a seed bowl, but in a pot between 7 and 9 cm to encourage root growth. 12 cm pot, ”she adds.
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Thanks to Monty and Kate, we will surely avoid making the same mistake again.