Roots are, well, the root of good plant health! When you give roots a healthy start, your plants are much more likely to be able to survive drought, heat, cold, poor soil and disease - everything your veg plot could throw at it.
This sowing, we're looking at how to give roots the best possible start using boosters, root trainers, Jiffy Pellets, soil testing equipment and more!
Easier Potting-On, Less Root Disturbance
Here's why we love them...
These handy pellets minimise root damage because you don't need to touch the roots, simply place the whole pellet into a larger pot or the ground when you're ready. Here are other reasons we love them...
- No root damage - simply place the pellet into a larger pot with extra compost, no need to prick out, which is when roots can get disturbed and damaged
- Less mess - no spilt soil from trying to scoop compost into tiny pots and seeds trays
- Easy to see when to pot-on - it's when the roots have grown through the sides of the pellets
- They make us feel magical - soak these hard pellets for 5 minutes and they expand into soft balls of compost
Our pellets are 35mm and peat free.
Prevent roots from twisting and kinking
We absolutely love these reusable Root Trainers, especially for growing peas, beans, sweet peas and delphiniums because they hate to have their roots disturbed. We also like them for starting off carrots and parsnips.
Root Trainers open out like a book so that you easily check on and remove the young plants without disturbing or damaging the roots when they're ready to pot on.
The ridges on the inside of the pots encourage the roots to branch out but still grow straight down, so they develop strong, straight roots. This means when they are planted out into the garden the roots travel straight down deep into the soil where they can access more water and nutrients.
They are perfect for plants that have fast-growing roots, such as beans,
Simply fill each cell with compost and sow a seed, or place a cutting in each cell - you'll soon have healthy young plants ready to pot on.
Perfect for nutrient-poor soil
If the soil you are planting out to is nutrient-poor these organic, enriched Root Riot cubes are a great solution.
The peat-based cubes contain micro nutrients to nourish the young plants, and a fungi that encourages root development and they retain the ideal air to water ratio for healthy root development.
They're suitable for both cuttings and seeds - simply pot them on when they're ready.
No root disturbance, and organic!
If you want to stick to pots but reduce root disturbance these are a great choice.
These 8cm pots biodegrade when you plant them-out, and so a natural resource returns back to your soil.
The pots are handmade in Sri Lanka by a women's co-operative
Make your own biodegradable seedling pots!
This are an ideal eco-friendly and cost effective way of making your own seedling pots from rips of newspaper!
Simply plant the whole pot into a larger pot or into the ground when the plants are large enough. The roots will grow into the soil as the paper disintegrates, so there's no root disturbance, no transplant shock and the paper helps keep the compost moist.