When to start planting vegetables

Nourishing your body with healthy foods is important for your wellbeing. Some people are concerned about the quality of fruits and vegetables in the supermarket. However, if you have an allotment, you can grow your own veggies and not worry about the quality. In this post, I will discuss how to home-grow some of the vegetables.

What vegetables are easy to grow?

Basket of home-grown vegetables

Some of the easiest to home-grow vegetables include radish, carrot, green beans, tomatoes, yellow summer squash, lettuce, spinach, cucumbers, bell peppers and onions. These do not require much effort. Lettuce can be planted grown year-round because it is quite resistant to cold weather, as long as the temperature does not decrease below 7 °C. Also, most of the above-mentioned plants can be grown indoors. I still have a childhood memory when my grandma would grow onions on the window sill. Therefore, you will be able to grow some veggies even if you do not have an allotment or greenhouse. This is just a rough guide and every vegetable has its planting season.

Radishes and carrots

Radishes and carrots

Radishes grow best in cool weather. Usually, radishes are grown in the spring. However, they can be planted in September, October or November. They mature very quickly, so they are well suited for the fall. Carrots take 10 to 11 weeks to mature. For that reason, the latest time to sow them is 8 to 12 weeks before the first frost.

Green beans

Green beans

Green beans are not frost resistant and do not like too much warmth either. The required temperature is about 10-15 °C. Considering this, the best time to plant them is during the spring when the risk of frost is minimal. Sow the beans directly into the garden, but make sure that they will get plenty of sun and that the soil is loose. Also, you can plant them in the fall, 10-12 weeks before the first expected frost. It is possible to grow them during winter, but only indoors obviously. In this case, plant the beans 3-4 weeks before the last frost date. Transfer them in the soil 2 weeks after the last frost, when the weather gets warmer. However, remember that the temperature above 26 °C can damage or even kill green beans.

Tomatoes

Allotment tomatoes

If you are planning to grow tomatoes outdoors then sow them from late March to early April. However, tomatoes can be also grown indoors or in a greenhouse. In this case, sow them from late February to mid-March, but ensure that temperature is from 16 °C to 32 °C. Unlike green beans, tomatoes like the heat. I recommend planting tomatoes 4-6 weeks before transplanting them outdoors in well-drained soil. Another tip I can give you is not to plant tomatoes and peppers together. Bees will cross-pollinate them, which will ruin the taste of tomatoes.

Yellow summer squash

Yellow squash

It is a warm-season annual, so wait until the temperature is about 21 °C before planting or sowing. It is a good idea to start the seeds indoors, usually 4 weeks before the last spring frost. For squash to grow it needs compost, well-drained soil and plenty of sunlight. It is a climbing plant. Therefore, it is a good idea to plant it next to a fence or framework to allow its vines space to grow.

Lettuce and spinach

Lettuce

These two are very easy to grow. Lettuce and spinach are cool weather plants. The best time to plant lettuce is in early spring or fall. It can grow in relatively cold conditions, as long as the temperature does not decrease bellow 7 °C. However, its ideal temperature is 7-23 °C. Considering this, lettuce can be grown around. Also, like spinach, it can be directly sown. This is good news, especially for someone who is starting out. Spinach can survive even in more severe conditions, at the temperature as low as -9 °C. Yet its ideal temperature is 1-23 °C and, like lettuce, it can be planted year-round.

Cucumbers

Cucumbers

Another easy plant to grow. Plant them after the last spring frost, because cucumbers are warm-weather crops. The best temperature for them is 21-29 °C. So before transplanting the seedling in outdoor soil, acclimatise them for 7-10 days. If your greenhouse is well heated, you can start planting in late March. Cucumber is a vine plant, so like with squash, it is a good idea to create a trellis. There are even patio cucumbers. They require less effort, but remember to have one cucumber plant per container.

Bell peppers

Orange, yellow and red bell peppers

For the best result grow peppers outdoors, where they can get all available sunlight. They have a long growing period of 9-13 weeks. To speed up the process, you can start seeds indoors 8-10 weeks before the last spring date. The ideal temperature is 21-32 °C.

Onions

Brown onions

Usually planted in early spring. If the weather is mild or warm you can plant onions in late summer, autumn or even fall for spring harvest. The temperature has to be above 10 °C for onions to germinate and 24 °C to sprout.