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Ensuring your gardening success

Make the most of your new seeds and plants with these handy tips and tricks.

Note that we grow, prune and prepare our mail order plants with the rigours of parcel delivery in mind. This includes keeping plants compact, pruning back and/or staking, and removing fruits and flowers to minimise stress upon the plant. So be aware, at this stage of their development, young plants may not match their pictures!

Caring for your new plants

Diggers plants in different pot sizes

Unwrapping your plants

If your order contains plants, it is important to carefully unwrap them from their packaging as soon as possible and give them an application of water or, better yet, a seaweed-based solution to help them recover from their time in the mail. Place plants in a light, airy position and water morning and night until they are planted into your garden.

If your plant has an “I am dormant” label, it will not need daily watering. As the weather warms, it will waken from its dormancy and start to grow. At this stage, it’s best to replant either into the garden or a larger pot.

Two hands cupping organic soil

Planting tips

Preparation is the key so dig to at least a spade depth and enrich your soil with aged compost. Don’t ever pull the plant by the stem! Instead, soak the pot for several minutes in a bucket of water, remove, squeeze the sides of the pot and turn upside-down and gently tap the pot off.

When planting, tease the plant roots gently (except poppies, romneya and echiums, which don’t like root disturbance) and plant to the original soil depth. Always water new plants to help them settle in. Mulching will prevent weed growth and produce a more vigorous plant. Protect new plants from frost and pests.

Reading your Diggers growing symbols

Diggers growing icons are used to provide vital information via our magazines, website, seed packets and plants labels. Once you are familiar with them, you'll be able to tell at a glance what growing conditions your seeds and plants need.

View all the Diggers growing symbols

Getting started with seeds

Hand sowing a line of seeds

Storing your seeds

At Diggers, seeds is at the heart of what we do. We have been growing and preserving heirloom seeds for over 40 years and we are passionate about helping others to join us – not only growing from seed, but saving seed too.

All our seed is stored in our seed vault – a climate-controlled environment to ensure maximum germination.

At home, it can be difficult to store seeds at a constant temperature, but always try to find a place away from direct sunlight. The ideal location is dry, dark and cool, like a cupboard. Seeds should keep up to six months if stored correctly.

Seedlings successfully germinated in a punnet

Key factors in seed germination

Soil temperature: Most vegetable crops are seasonal and will not perform outside of their growing season. Hardy crops can tolerate cool soil and fluctuations in temperature. Tender crops on the other hand need a warm soil of 15°C+ to germinate successfully.

Moisture: Consistently moist (not wet) soil or seed raising mix is critical to break the seed’s outer layer and allow the seed to imbibe water, kick-starting the germination process. It is important that you don’t allow your seed raising mix or garden soil to dry out during germination.

Oxygen: Ensure adequate drainage and porosity in your seed raising mix or garden bed. During germination, air and water are the critical factors in your growing media, with fertility only an issue once seeds have successfully germinated and the seed has exhausted its own reserves.

Celebrating 30 years 

Stay tuned for details on the inaugural Diggers Tomato Taste Test