We start sending our veg plants from next week. Obviously, we can’t guarantee the weather will stay nice and sunny, so here’s some advice for keeping them protected from cold nights and strong winds.
- If the weather is a bit dodgy when they arrive, plant them temporarily in a grow bag in a sheltered, warm spot (a light porch, inside a greenhouse, or by the shelter of a wall) until you feel they can be planted out. To do this, simply lie the grow bag down, cut the top off, loosen up the compost and plug the plants into the compost. (make sure you have soaked the plant roots in water first)
- If you do plant out and are worried about cold temperatures/frost, then we would advise laying a sheet of horticultural fleece over the top of rows of plants. Secure at the corners and sides with stones. You can remove the fleece as soon as all risk of frost has passed.
- For some of the more tender plants, you may want to use a little cloche (as pictured) to protect them – you can buy something or cut up some old plastic bottles.
- One easy thing to do is make a hoop tunnel using bamboo, hose and polythene (see below) – once the weather warms up you can remove the polythene.
- Choose your battles. Don’t worry as much about brassicas, spinach/chard and mustard leaves – these are all ok in a bit of cold weather. Concentrate your efforts on more vulnerable plants like beans, squash, tomatoes (and other veg that you would normally grow in a greenhouse), and lettuces!