Grow your own – it’s not too late!
Spring may be late this year, but there is still plenty of time to grow your own. In fact, waiting and sowing later when the soil and weather conditions are better means that your seeds will germinate more successfully than in cold wet soil.
With many gardeners wondering how they’re going to get the best from their gardens with such a late start to the season, we asked Sue Sanderson for her expert advice. Here’s what she said:
If the soil is warm enough and the weather conditions are favourable, you can sow hardy annuals direct outside from April, right through to the 1st week of June. If you’re really desperate to get germination underway, you could sow seeds into cell trays under cover and plant them out once the conditions outside improve. There is plenty of time, so don’t panic!
Petunias, ipomoea, nicotiana, dahlia, ageratum, lobelia and sunflowers can be sown up to mid April under glass.
Marigolds, zinnias, cosmos and tagetes are the last half-hardy annuals you would sow – these can be sown under glass from April through to early May.
Sow tomatoes and aubergines up to the 3rd week of April.
It’s getting a little late to sow peppers – you’ve only really got until the end of the 2nd week of April to get them going.
Summer brassicas should be sown by now for early harvests, but late summer early autumn harvesting varieties can be sown up to early May.
Wait until the soil has warmed up to sow other vegetable seeds – you’re more likely to get a better crop.
Potatoes, especially maincrops, can be planted up until mid May.
You can give your soil a helping hand in warming with cloches and polytunnels. These will also protect your crops while they’re growing.
So don’t despair, you’ve still got time to create a fabulous display of flowers and grow a decent crop of vegetables to see you through the year.
Rebecca works in the Marketing department as part of the busy web team, focusing on updating the UK news and blog pages and Thompson & Morgan’s international website. Rebecca enjoys gardening and learning about flowers and growing vegetables with her young daughter.
Ive just got a new greenhouse and although its small Ive managed to sow quite a few seeds this weekend. We are now eagerly awaiting radish, mixed lettuces, dwarf beans, some sunflowers, nasturtiums, perennial sweet pea and courgettes! Ive also got in bags on the patio, charlotte potatoes! Looking lovely are my 5 Sweet Million tomato plants. The children are having so much fun getting involved with the watering and sowing and its great to see them looking forward to eating lots of healthy vegetables this year!
Wow, you are going to be busy! Fingers crossed that we get a decent summer…
We have just set up raised beds in our new garden and so far already have garlic and potatoes peeking through.
Very excited to see what we end up with as this is our first year of serious vegetable gardening!
Good luck Emma, we hope you get some good veg crops!
Great post, it has reminded me I need to plant my aubergines this week!
Planting seeds this weekend! The fushias are starting to show signs of life so I’m hoping Spring finally on her way!
This has been really useful, only just getting back into veg growing & needed some advice about planting times – off to look at seed potatoes now 🙂
Thanks Sheila, I hope you have a successful season.
We’ve just planted some radishes & tomatoes, hopefully we will actually get to eat some this year!
Ah yes, surely we’re due a decent summer? Good luck!
Always handy to have these tips and reminders and I now have my box prepared ready for some serious planting tomorrow, now that we finally have a spring-like weekend. Didn’t have much success iwth potatoes last year but determined to have another go this year – and to protect plants from foxes better!