When your pinks have established they are now ready to plant outside.
Having followed steps 1,2 & 3 of Upon receipt of your plants.
Pinks in the garden: Pinks are hardy plants that love a sunny well drained position, they require very little care and attention yet provide you with a lovely border of scented flowers throughout the summer. Pinks don't have to be grown in the garden they also make exceedingly good patio plants, and can be grown in any type of container, window boxes even hanging baskets - this is an ideal way to grow them if you are on heavy soil such as clay.
Planting: We recommend you allow 12" - 15" between each plant, the top of the root ball should be level with the soil. Pinks can be planted at any time during the year, if you are Spring planting, do so after the worst of the winter weather has gone - remember it is the wet they don't like! they don't mind the cold, depending on the variety you can expect to see flowers from April onwards. Summer planting, ensure you maintain watering until the plants have become established - but don't be heavy handed, even in the summer you can rot their roots off. Autumn planting, we recommend planting no later than October, and after that time keep plants in a cold frame / greenhouse to protect them from the worst of the winter weather and then plant in Spring.
Once the plant has become established in the planted area it can stay their happily and will not need to be dug up or frost protected.
Soil conditions: Pinks are fairly tolerant to most garden soils, ideally a PH level of about 6 is ideal, they prefer it to be more alkaline than acidic, but they must have good drainage. If you have clay or poorly drained soil, add some grit into the soil where you are planting them. This will help prevent their roots getting too much moisture around them and possibly causing root rot during heavy wet weather. Beware during the summer months they can dry out incredibly quickly, so extra watering during very hot dry spells is reccommended, this also encourages them to continue flowering (depending on the variety).
Flowering: Depending on the variety, flowers can start from as early as April, and continue through to the autumn. Simple deadheading in the summer months will encourage more flowers. When the flowering stem has finished flowering, cut right back towards the centre of the plant. This will produce a much more compact and bushy plant.
Feeding : Feeding should commence soon after potting into the ground or larger pots and continue throughout the flowering season. Our balaced organic based plant food (found in the Gardening Aids section) is ideal for this which will produce good lush growth with better flowers - especially in the second year, or alternatively a general liquid feed such as Phostrogen is satisfactory.
Winter Care: All pinks are hardy. In the autumn we recommend you tidy each plant up, removing any dead leaves, cut back any untidy or long straggling sections, this will give the plant shape and make it bush-out from the base. During the winter months you may notice a purple mottling on some of the leaves, this is quite common and will not harm the plant.
Most importantly pinks DO NOT like to be water-logged over winter months, this can cause root-rot.
Further reading we recommend "How to grow Pinks" booklet written by the British National Carnation Society.