Hi Snowdrop, I have learned so much from this thread and David. My key words to remember are DON'T MOLLYCODDLE Apparently this is what ladies like to do, must be the mothering instinct (I'm presuming you are a lady, sorry!).
I planted my seedlings out several weeks ago, some I 'forgot' about and yes I have lost a couple, not to slugs but to some form of wildlife trampling on them, but the rest (4!) are lovely and bushing out well. The ones I have been caring for more are a bit more straggly although still starting to bush out!!
I have bought some seeds on David's recommendation, I am going to sow some and save the rest for Autumn sowings, I've never done that before but will be trying this year now I have expert advice.
In the next few days I will be sowing my direct ones, I am going to sow, put the poles in and leave