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How to plant outdoors

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
To do
To do

Do not To do in January

Do not To do in February

Do To do in March

Do To do in April

Do To do in May

Do To do in June

Do To do in July

Do To do in August

Do To do in September

Do To do in October

Do not To do in November

Do not To do in December

When planting, make sure that the top of the compost in the pot is level with the surrounding soil surface. Take time to plant carefully so that the plants all have a good start in life. Follow our step-by-step tips for success.

You will need

  • Pot-grown plant
  • Garden compost, bagged compost or soil improver
  • Bonemeal
  • Spade
  • Watering can or hosepipe
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Total time:

Step 1

Choose a suitable place for the plant in your garden. Using a spade, dig a hole that’s slightly bigger than the size of the pot that it’s growing in. Pile the excavated soil to one side.

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Step 2

Use a garden fork to loosen the base of the hole, mixing in a couple of handfuls of compost, together with a little bonemeal. Add some more compost to the excavated soil.

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Step 3

Soak the roots of the plant in a bucket of water before planting. Invert the pot, holding the plant in one hand and the base of the pot in the other to knock it out.

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Step 4

Place the plant in the hole, making sure that the top of the compost is at the same level as the surrounding soil. Use a cane placed across the top of the hole to check this level.

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Step 5

Fill around the rootball of the plant using the excavated soil and compost mix. Firm it in layers as you fill the hole so that there are no air pockets left in the soil.

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Step 6

Water the plant with at least one watering can full of water. And continue to water in this way at least once a week during dry weather for the whole of the first year after planting.

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Use your fingers to break up any lumps of soil that you use to fill in around the roots of the plant. This will help prevent large air spaces forming.