When to plant

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I understand that we have to plant veg and herbs later up in the north but how do you know when to do it? It is still frosty here in the mornings.
The back of the seed packets I am looking at all say roughly March, would this be too optimistic?

If I do have to wait until is there anything I can plant at the moment? I do not have any cloches or fleece to protect plants. Could I get away with peas/carrots/onions at the moment?

Getting excited now about planting the veg this year. :)
 

bobnewboy

Settler
Jul 2, 2014
892
304
North West Somerset
Plant them into a propagator (you can get them cheap at Wilko's) in potting compost, water lightly and put it in your airing cupboard. When the seeds sprout sufficiently you can move them to a sunny (!?!?) windowsill, still in the propagator, and then onwards to your garden when big and strong. You can also make propagators out of clear pop bottles etc, so no real need to spend out too much.
 

nic a char

Settler
Dec 23, 2014
591
1
scotland
Prepare outside soil/put down compost in a light, airy, sheltered, sunny spot. Warm up soil/compost by placing black plastic over it.
Or, get an old glass window with frame & place it at an angle to sun, on bricks, seal gaps with stones & soil.
Prepare old clear plastic pop bottles (no lids) for propagators. When soil warm plant out, place bottles over & tent-peg them down.
IMHO airing cupboard tricky as you don't want a big temperature-change - young plants shock easily - a cool windowsill in your house/shed with plenty light will do well though.
 

Goatboy

Full Member
Jan 31, 2005
14,956
10
Scotland
Aye Pandabean, you'll often find that for Scottish plantings that we'll be 4-6 weeks behind the early dates on the packet. As others have said if you can bring them on indoors or in a greenhouse/propigator then it'll give you a head start.

Sent via smokesignal from a woodland in Scotland.
 

nic a char

Settler
Dec 23, 2014
591
1
scotland
Remember micro-climates - some parts of your garden will be warmer/colder - and you can of course improve the warmer areas further by adding shelter - south-facing walls for a start.
 
I did read that onions could be planted if it is frosty so may get a row of them in this weekend.
I do have a greenhouse that I can use to propagate, but I have never been successful in "planting out" properly. Probably due to not letting them get used to the change for long enough or waiting too long in the greenhouse.

Yep, Goatboy I have read we can be a few weeks behind the south but I have never been sure about when that should roughly be. The past few years I have waited until late April to plant anything in the ground but never put much effort into it.

I haven't been too focussed on the soil temperature but the seed packets I have don't contain a temperature.

I do intend to plant the following:
Carrots (early and main)
Parsnips (from Hugh)
Brussell Sprouts
Broccoli
Potatoes (Main Crop - possibly earlies)
Peas
Runner Beans
Cabbage (possibly)
Leek
Onion

Then I will have the herbs to go into their own beds.

I will hopefully put up pictures of the progress soon.
 

British Red

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Dec 30, 2005
25,532
402
Mercia
Planted my carrots yesterday, sprouts are seedlings, Toms are large plants. Not started peas, beans, leeks or cabbages yet.

If I were you, I would use the later planting times on UK seed packets.
 

British Red

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Dec 30, 2005
25,532
402
Mercia
A hot frame is built over rotting manure and so is self heating, a cold frame relies on the sun to heat it. Hot frames are rare these days.
 

What?

Member
Mar 19, 2015
11
0
Hamptonshire
Hello there, as others have said you can start them at home then transfer them when it gets a bit warmer, the beauty of starting from seed is that you usually have plenty of seed to experiment with so you can plant a few now in your garden or allotment, they may sprout within a few days or a couple of weeks or they may just die, the results will tell you what works best for your area and climate. You can also use some black sheeting or bin bags to help speed up ground warming. Down south of England here I have potatoes, peas, carrot seed and cauliflower already in the ground along with different types of herbs all of which is coming along nicely.
 

oldtimer

Full Member
What a useful thread!

The beds have been prepared and covered with black permeable sheeting for a few weeks now but I'm playing safe this year by planting late. Last year several sprouting plants got hit by a late frost while I was away. Hopefully the plants will catch up in their own good time.

Last year my carrots failed completely and my parsnips were not much to write home avout. Neighbours had the same experience. Any recommendations for a carrot that can be pulled early for tenderness and go on to a decent size that will go into the stewpot later in the season?

Sweetcorn was a success I hope to repeat this year again, any suggestions for varieties welcome. Also advice needed on tomatoes I want to keep a succession going with a mix of salad types and bottleable for winter cooking.

Keeping a small garden full of ripe and ready food whilst avoiding gluts I find a challenge.
 

British Red

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Dec 30, 2005
25,532
402
Mercia
Try Nantes 2for a good carrot. Important to use an old board to really firm the soil over the carrot seed.
 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,370
1,445
McBride, BC
I'd like to grow beets (aka beet-root?) Beta vulgaris, I think. Very slow and very disappointing yield. 20-30 plants would be ideal/not much space.
Can any of you make the case for starting the beet seeds in a flat, indoors?
Normally here, gardens go in at the end of May, but June 5/6/7 last year were nights of -7C. That frost strike cut my grape crop by 2/3.
 

nic a char

Settler
Dec 23, 2014
591
1
scotland
Something that contains heat is called a cold frame? You English are strange...
He says he's BRITISH - whatever that means - there are 4 countries here.
When you make a cold frame, it's cold, with only passive heating.
When you make a hothouse, it has an active heating system.
When you make a greenhouse, it can be passive, or have heating - it's NOT usually green though...
DO give us some Norwegian nonsense-words - it's all good fun :)
 

nic a char

Settler
Dec 23, 2014
591
1
scotland
That was NOT negative criticism :).
I make it: Scotland, Wales, N. Ireland, England - and I do not know what britain means - even the weather people don't know how to refer to the 4 different countries let alone the regions properly - it's confusion.