5 Ways to Get Veg Plants Off to a Good Start

Getting things right in the early days will make all the difference as we move through the growing season and through to harvest time. Here are 5 things you can do at planting time to give your vegetable plants a great start…

Give Plants Some Compost

Whether you drop a small handful into each hole as you plant into soil, or dig in a whole wheelbarrowful ahead of planting or fill pots entirely using compost, your plants will be so grateful. They’ll be able to quickly access nutrients and richness from the compost while they are establishing their roots properly.

Use Worm Cast Fertiliser

Worm castings – which are essentially worm poo – are full of nutrients, and the brilliant thing about worm cast fertiliser is that it releases those nutrients back into the soil slowly and steadily. This makes it a really handy feed for veg plants during the growing season. We’d recommend sprinkling in a handful with each plug as you pop them in the ground or pots, or dig some into the soil ahead of planting. In the middle of the season, you can make a wormcast tea by mixing in a filled watering can and watering plants.


This is such a great way to give plants a good start – the mulch will protect the soil from sun and wind damage, it will help to keep the soil a nice temperature, it’ll help to keep weeds down, and it will help to nourish the soil over the growing season. A 5cm layer of compost or leaf mould works really well around the base of plants, or across the whole bed if you have enough.

Make Sure Plants are Sheltered

One of the toughest conditions for new plants is strong winds – you can give them all the sun in the world, but a strong, cold easterly wind can really damage them. Choose your site so that you can protect them from such winds (and it’ll help in the autumn too when stronger winds can knock down climbing beans quite easily!)

Protect from Slugs (from the moment you plant!)

A common error is to plant up and decide that you’ll see how it goes with slugs and snails. This can be fatal! Please, please, protect your newly planted veg crops from slugs and snails when you first plant them. They are so vulnerable when they are young, and so appealing to slugs with their fresh new leaves and tender stems. Beer traps, copper tape, grit, wool pellets – these are just some of your options for slug control without using pellets.

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