Bedding plants are generally transplanted when they are at their leafy stage, to an area in the garden to provide a display of color for a limited period of time, typically just a matter of weeks or months.
These plants are used in a variety of situations, such as borders, rockeries, containers or to fill in bare areas of the garden.
Purchasing plants in containers can prove to be expensive, while trays of plants are relatively cheap. It should be noted however, that as these plants are growing together, roots can easily be damaged when separating them out into individual containers.
Plants that are grown in trays with seperate compartments have their own growing cell, and as such are far less likely to get damaged.
Bedding plants can be either annuals or perennials and it is quite usual to use a combination of both. You can if you wish sow seeds which is obviously a much cheaper route to take, particularly if you have a large area and require a substantial amount of plants. However, many gardeners see it as a challenge and find it extremely rewarding growing from seed.
On the other hand, buying plants that are already at an advanced stage of growth is a lot easier, as there is no need for a propagator or greenhouse to bring them on.
The majority of plants, irrespective of whether they have been purchased or grown at home, will probably have been started in a warm environment, and prefer to be acclimatised prior to being planted out in the open.
If you like to do a little bedside reading, then Lois Hole's 'Bedding Plants Favorites' is a great book. Even though it was originally published in 1994 it still holds relevant information, providing easy to understand instructions and excellent advice for choosing the right ones for your garden.Currently available on Amazon for around $18.95 new, or cheaper if you can get your hands on a used copy.
It's advisable to leave plants in a cold frame or somewhere outside undercover for a couple of weeks before planting. When you're ready to plant them in the garden, just make a small hole where you wish them to grow, making the hole large enough to take the complete root comfortably.
Split up the plants, carefully removing individual rootballs and place them in the hole so that the compost is just underneath the level of the soil, then fill in the spaces all around the base with soil, firm down and water.
During the dry weather, they should be watered daily, with careful attention paid to hanging baskets, as they tend to dry out rapidly and may require watering more frequently. Bedding plants will benefit from the addition of a liquid feed once a week
And finally to encourage new growth, dead blooms should be removed as soon as possible from both summer and winter plants