How to look after newly planted veggies

nurturing seedlings

During the first couple of weeks after you’ve planted your veg it’s really important to look after them well as they’re still very young and vulnerable. Keeping them well watered, weed free and protected from pests is your number one mission once they’re in the ground…

Unless it is raining, water young plants well at least once a day, ideally in the evening once the sun has started to go down, or very first thing. They will be thirsty during the first week or two and need the water both to help them grow and to help them put down stronger roots. Try to water the soil rather than soaking the stem and leaves, as any little droplets on the leaves when the sun is hot can easily scorch.

Keep your baby plants free from weeds which can steal valuable water, nutrients and sunlight. An onion hoe is a great tool for this as you can carefully scrape the top of the soil to root up small weeds without disturbing your plants. If there are larger weeds, pull them out carefully trying not to disturb the roots of your veg plants. Making sure you keep on top of weeds will really give your veg plants a chance to establish themselves well.

When plants are young they are not strong enough to withstand pests, so it’s really important to be vigilant during the first few weeks. Follow our growing guide when you’re planting to put the right defences in place, then check for signs of pests regularly. Have a look at brassicas for signs of caterpillars, check for slug/snail damage, and look out for any other damage to leaves/stems. The quicker you spot things, the easier it is to sort it all out and keep your plants growing. Slugs will inevitably be the number one problem for most gardeners in the UK so it’s also well worth doing a slug patrol at dusk as well, to pick off any slugs and snails and move them to a different area in the garden.

Get these three things right and your plants should get growing quickly to become stronger, tougher plants that can withstand the elements and cope better with pests in the future.