How To…Sow Tender Vegetables

How to sow tender vegetables

by Garden News |

More and more people are growing their own vegetables; some popular ones are beans, sweetcorn, squashes and courgettes. All are fairly easy to grow, but they're what we call tender vegetables as none of them can withstand any frost.

The seeds of these can be sown outside directly into the garden when the weather warms up, but if you've a greenhouse, conservatory, polytunnel or light windowsill you can easily start them off in containers to give the plants a head start.

Starting the seeds into growth now means by late May when the danger of frost has gone, you’ll have strong plants ready to plant out in the garden that will establish quickly.

Another benefit is the plants have a longer growing season, which for vegetables such as squashes and sweetcorn is a bonus and gives crops time to ripen.

To avoid any root disturbance when planting out, sow seeds individually in small pots or cell trays of multi-purpose compost. Once sown, stand in a light, frost-free place to germinate and grow on for around a month.

If growing on a windowsill, keep turning the young plants as they'll naturally grow towards the light, and don’t put them in too warm a room or they'll grow tall and leggy.

Top Tips For Tender Vegetables

  1. To start the seeds off you can use plastic cell trays, plastic or terracotta plant or fibre pots

  2. Sweet corn is ideal for sowing in cell trays and all they need to germinate is somewhere frost free at night.

  3. Runner and French beans are fine in cell trays or small pots and when growing need good light.

  4. Courgettes, marrows and squashes need a bit of warmth to germinate them and to grow on.

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