How to plant outdoors

How to plant outdoors

Follow our simple step-by-step guide to planting outside.

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.

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You Will Need

  • A large pot-grown plant
  • Garden compost or well-rotted farmyard manure
  • Bonemeal fertiliser
  • Garden spade
  • Watering can or hose

Total time:

Step 1

Digging a hole
Digging a hole

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.

Step 2

Adding compost to the planting hole
Adding compost to the planting hole

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.

Step 3

Knocking the plant out of the pot
Knocking the plant out of the pot

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.

Step 4

Placing the plant in the hole
Placing the plant in the hole

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.

Step 5

Firming in the plant
Firming in the plant

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.

Step 6

Watering the plant
Watering the plant

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.

Blue tit. Photo: Getty Images.