Now is a great time to sow tender vegetables. If you live in the south of the UK you may have been lucky enough to make a head start but, for lots of us, the weather is just right for planting our delicious summer veggies. Think runner beans, dwarf French beans, courgettes, sweetcorn and all the tasty veg we can grow in the garden.
Martin Fish, our friend from Pots & Trowels, shares his best advice and tips for planting out tender vegetables in the video below. You can watch his video now, or keep reading below for a summary and guide to help prepare your veg haul.
What Equipment Do I Need to Plant Out Tender Vegetables?
You won’t need too much kit for this garden job, but as always, the right tool will help you get the job done properly.
- The veg of your choice (we’re using runner beans and courgettes)
- Pots (fibre and 12inch diameter)
- A dibber – Try the Darlac Dibber. This dibber is part of the stylish Darlac bamboo range. It’s the easy way to make holes for seeds, bulbs and plants.
- Slow-release feed
When to Plant Out Your Tender Vegetables
There’s a piece of old gardening advice that states that if you’re sowing your runner beans directly into the ground, then don’t sow them until after the 12 May. The theory is that you’ve then got two weeks for the seeds to push their shoots up above ground level while there’s still some danger of frost. Yet, by the time they reach the surface, we should be free of those cold snaps. The weather has been a little mixed this year, so who really knows when the last frost will be, but it’s a good guide to use.
How To Plant Out Tender Vegetables
If you have sown runner beans early and you’ve tended to your seedlings in your greenhouse, these early shoots will be great for planting in containers now. Large containers (12 inches in diameter) work well for these types of veg. Fill your container with compost and some slow-release fertiliser, as these plants can run out of nutrients quickly. You should be able to fit around three plants in the container and they’ll have enough room to grow and bush out as they fill the container.
How to Sow Tender Vegetables
If you’re sowing your veg outside you have two options; you can sow directly in the ground or you can use trays. If you’re using trays, fill the tray with compost but don’t add fertiliser, as your seedlings will only be in for a few weeks before they head into the garden permanently. Using your dibber, make a hole and drop your seed into the hole – just one per hole – then water these in. You should leave these in a cold greenhouse to germinate. If you haven’t got a greenhouse or cold frame, don’t worry, you can even pop them outside in a sunny position that’s sheltered. If it’s cold at night then pop a bit of fleece on them, or even bring them inside for the night and pop them out again the next day.
You can even sow runner beans up until the end of June and you’ll still get a good crop.
Courgettes can’t stand any frost, so these can be sown well into June and often fair better if they’re planted late. They can be started in pots, such as fibre pots. Courgettes usually start as nice big seeds, so they’re easy to sow. Be careful when deciding how many to sow as you can end up with too many courgettes, and you might get fed up with eating them!
Fill your pots with compost and then use your dibber to create space for your seed, about ¾ inch deeper. Cover them in, label and then water them. You’ll get lots of lovely courgettes from only a few seeds.
You could plant these out under cloches, but it can also be great to add these to pots and grow them off ground to compare which location is better. When potting courgette plants, plant them a little deeper than runner beans to prevent them from moving in the wind. You’ll be amazed at how quickly these grow, and you’ll only need one plant per 12-inch pot. Keep feeding these once a week in the season and you’ll get loads of courgettes!
Where to Buy Darlac Tools
Make life a little easier for yourself by using the right garden tool for the job. You can find our Darlac products in store from your local garden centre. Find your local Darlac stockist here.
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