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Tips for Transplanting Lupins (Soil Conditions, Feeding & More!)

Dave shares his best tips for transplanting lupins into their final spot. He explains what soil conditions lupins like and how to feed them.

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Here’s what Dave says in this video…

Right so this lovely spring morning we’re going to be transplanting lupins. Now this is a variety called Pixie Delight. It’s the dwarf variety. So it’s not going to grow as tall as your average lupin.

What Soil Conditions do You Need When Transplanting Lupins?

So they are going into this raised bed and what I’m going to do is I’m going to plant them quite close together really, if I was planting them out into a flower border I’d probably space them out a little bit more. But because we’ve got them in the raised bed, we know the soil’s good. We’re going to water them and feed them. They should be fine in here. And for this particular variety it’s better if you put a lot together because it gives you a much better show. So the soil in the bed is peat free compost with well rotted down garden compost as well and then just top soil just to retain the moisture. The lupins have a deep tap root so they will find their way down into the bed and to find the moisture anyway.

Tips for Transplanting Lupins

Before transplanting the lupins, what I’m going to do is, any dead or damaged leaves, I’m just going to remove. If they are dying off anyway, they’ll not come back. They just look unsightly. So I’m going to plant them at the same depth that they are in the pot. So they don’t need to go any deeper than that. So if you want to just make sure how deep you’re putting them, just pop your pot into the hole you’ve dug. As you plant hundreds of plants as you go along through your gardening life, you tend to get an idea of how deep the hole needs to be anyway. So I’ve just dug that and it’s about perfect. It doesn’t always work out that way, but as a rule of thumb, just pop your pot in there.

So that’s gone in and all I’m going to do now is just firm the plant in. It doesn’t need to be firmed in really heavily. Just pop it down like that and then just put your soil back and that’s it. And I’m going to put the marker in. If the roots are starting to curl round, just loosen them a bit, so the ends of the roots start to show and move away from the actual shape of the pot they’ve been in, so if you break them, don’t worry too much. It’s not always a bad thing because what happens is that they’ll regenerate and you’ll get more leaves. So I’m just going to pop that into the hole. So it is at exactly the same depth as it was in the pot again, just a little firm into the soil. OK, and then we’ll carry on.

Now, these leaves are starting to turn yellow. It’s unlikely that they’ll come back, but they’re not too unsightly at the moment, so I’m going to leave those on. If they were brown and distorted, I would take them off. If you’re going to take a leaf off, let me see if I can find one, like that one there. That one’s damaged, that’s not going to recover. So rather than pulling it upwards or downwards, try just gently holding the stem just to twist it sideways and it should work its way off and then you’re not going to tear it. So it’s important not to tear it because that will let in diseases, so that leaves gone now. Now we’ll just chuck that away. If they’re not ready to come off, that one came off quite easily. If they’re not ready to come off, it means you know they’re not really dying off, so you can leave them on. I wouldn’t force it off, but if it comes off easily like that, it’s ready. It’s not going to. It’s not going to regenerate itself. Try not to disturb the roots if you can. They don’t like having their roots disturbed. That’s why I’ve put them in a deep contained pot and they have been watered this morning as well, because in preparation for planting them out, they come out of the pot easily. And also, it helps the plant itself. It’s not going to be such a shock going into the ground. And I will water them in the bed as well, just to settle them in. By settling them in What I mean is that it gets the soil to settle around it. The roots of the plant anchor it, so you’re not getting the air pockets, and they do need air to survive, but not air pockets. And they need the roots to be in contact with the soil to pick up the nutrients. Another sign When the ready to go out is if the leaves start to yellow, it’s a sign that they’re not. There’s not enough nutrients in the pot in the soil that they’re in.

How to Protect Lupins from Frost

And these have been hardened off, so they’ve been outside through the day for the last week now. And we’ve had a bit of cooler weather. So they’ve had a bit of all sorts and I left them out overnight for the last two nights. Because it’s only been down eight or nine degrees, which is not going to harm them, but it’s just cooler. So it gets them used to being outside, which is not exactly right.

But it’s always better to, especially your tender plants. You know, you’re mostly in bedding plants, marigolds, that sort of thing. You can sometimes buy them from garden centres and people pop into the garden. If they’ve been in the garden centre under cover, they’ve not hardened off. So you are still better off, rather than buying them, putting them straight outside through into the bed and hardening them off. So by that, I mean put your tray in a place outside during the day, take them inside to your greenhouse or inside wherever you keep them through the night. Do that for about a week and then they should be toughened up. Check the daytime temperatures and look for frost. There’s no frost forecast for another fortnight. So really, we should be safe here and after that. So it’s getting towards the end of May and the further north you go, the more you can get a frost later in the year. But just keep checking the weather forecast. And if there’s going to be a particularly cold night, you might want to cover some of your bedding plants, so you can just cover them with newspaper. You can pop a plant pot over them. It’s just to keep the moisture off of them, and that’s what freezes and kills your plants. So it’s just a matter of keeping an eye on the weather and protecting your plants.