Long growing days are now with us, with variable weather. Young plants can now be brought outside, if they are not out already, and seeds can be sown outside directly into growing containers or open ground now the soil is warming. Keep cheating the variable temperatures and cool winds with as much protection as possible during the day and night.
If you are just starting out this week there is plenty you can sow.
Getting watering right can be a hard thing to gauge so a few pointers might help:
Where possible water in the morning so that plants can take up water efficiently.
Plants in pots need the most attention and regular vigilance; the soil under the top inch should feel moist but never damp to touch.
Young plants require regular watering, a good soak 2 to 3 times a week is better than watering every day encouraging the plant to put down its roots to take up water.
If you have space in a deep pot or somewhere in the soil sow peas or sugar snap peas directly into the soil. Follow packet instructions.
Can now be brought outside and planted into their final growing containers, open soil or peat free grow bags. Pot size should be a least 12inches in diameter. If you are growing tomatoes outdoors give tomatoes your sunniest spot out of the wind and as much protection as possible. If you have the room you can keep growing bush tomatoes on windowsills or a mini greenhouse, they will be happier and perform better.
A weekly liquid feed will promote flowering so more tomatoes for you. ‘Cordon’ tomatoes, the ones that will grow tall, will need to be staked and need regular side shooting. More next week. ‘Bush’ types are great for novice growers, not requiring fiddly extra care.
Summer fruiting raspberries, strawberries and currants will be coming into flower. Just enjoy watching the bees busying themselves. New raspberries and currants may not flower in their first year, don’t panic; they are concentrating on getting established. Any fruit grown in containers will benefit from a weekly liquid feed from now until they have finished fruiting.
Keep sowing green leafy crops; salads, spinach and kale in trays, pots or the open ground. Transplant young plants into bigger containers or open ground and ensure they have regular water to put on green leafy growth you want for the pot.
Leafy herbs such as parsely, coriander or basil will germinate well in warmer weather. Sow them directly into pots for growing indoors or outdoors, or the soil. If you have a supermarket basil plant, on a dull damp day, split the plant into smaller clumps and transplant into pots.
Keep an eye on young tatties emerging. If you planted early they will soon start flowering. Tatties grown in containers will need a good soaking a couple of times a week.
Remember our tap water is really energy intensive, wherever you can collect water in wet spells for upcoming dry spells and washing up water is fine too.