Summer bedding can be bought in a range of sizes, from seed to flowering plants, and is available by mail order or from garden centres. Use the following guide to help you decide what suits your needs, whether it be for mass planting or filling a small container.

Summer seeds

The cheapest way to raise a lot of the same variety.

Useful for massed bedding or ground cover. Seed offers the best choice of varieties, including the latest problem resistant kinds. You also have the pleasure of raising your own plants from seed.

 

Marigold flower head
A marigold flower

 

What to buy

If you have the space, time and equipment, raise bedding plants that are easy to grow from seed, such as marigold and lobelia, and any needed in large numbers for displays.

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Summer Seedlings

Easier than growing plants from seed, but still a cheap way to raise a lot of plants of the same variety.

There is no need to invest in an expensive propagator.

 

Petunia flower head
A petunia flower

 

What to buy

Seedlings are a good way to buy bedding plants that are difficult to germinate, such as pelargoniums, begonias, busy lizzies and petunias. Also worth considering for other bedding plants used in big quantities.

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Summer plugs

A useful and cheap way to raise several plants of the same variety, possibly for a single-variety container scheme. Plugs are easier than raising plants from seed or seedlings and you get a good selection of most recent varieties.

 


A pelargonium flower

 

What to buy

They can be bought by mail order or from garden centres. Buy plugs of expensive bedding plants, such as pelargoniums, if you have time to pot them on and a frost-free place to keep them.

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Tot plants

A convenient way to buy a few plants for a patio container or hanging basket. You can buy exactly the number of plants that you need. Easy-to-use collections of plants are available, such as by colour scheme.

 

Fuchsias
Fuchsia flowers

 

What to buy

A good way to buy young plants of fuchsias, petunias, scaevolasand pelargoniums,  especially if you want named varieties. But you must have time to pot them on and somewhere frost-free to keep them.

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Strips

A cheap and easy way to buy a dozen or so of the same variety, ready to plant out.

Useful for bedding displays or large numbers of containers.

Most are sold by colour rather than named variety.

 

What to buy

Best for unnamed varieties of bedding plants in flower that are large enough to plant straight into the garden.

 

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