The Next Two Months – mid-March to mid-May

As we approach the spring equinox, Easter and the day when the clocks jump forwards, thoughts start turning to the veg garden and there is an eagerness to get out there and crack on. With that imminent enthusiasm in mind, here’s our guide to the next two months, from mid-March to mid-May…

Mid to late March

This is your last chance to plant out onion sets, so do be quick if you want to grow from sets (you can plant seedlings from us later in spring). You can also start planting seed potatoes now – see our separate guide below for more information.

Early April

Use this time to really get on top of things in your plot:

  • Clear weeds and prepare beds by digging over the soil or mulching
  • Build wigwams for climbing beans and peas
  • Wash down greenhouses and polytunnels
  • Get in extra compost to re-fill pots and containers

Don’t forget to earth up potato plants as you see foliage peeping above the soil (and continue to do this until late April).

Mid to Late April

In many parts of the country you can start planting out a few of the hardier plants, like leaves, brassicas and roots. Please, please be careful when it comes to planting out more tender plants like tomatoes, peppers, sweetcorn, squash and beans (among others!) as these really do not fare well with cold nights or strong winds, and definitely won’t withstand frost. For these, it is much MUCH better to wait until May…

Early to Mid May

This month you can plant out the more tender crops with a lot more confidence. If you are planting early in the month, depending on the weather it may still be wise to cover with a cloche or fleece to keep them warm. Once we hit mid-May, you can plant, plant, plant and things should take off really well because the soil is that much warmer, nighttime temperatures are warmer and daylight hours are longer. Our very favourite time for planting out is around the third week of May – the plants just seem to really fly when planted then.


And a final thought…

As an overall piece of advice, please don’t be tempted to “panic plant” which is the term we have coined for rushing to plant out before spring is fully underway. Early spring is for seed sowing which is the part that we do in our polytunnels, and mid to late spring is the time for planting out. Planting early can feel good at the time, but the plants so often suffer and struggle, and sometimes they don’t survive, so it really is better to exercise a little patience!!

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