It’s amazing reading social media and seeing all those photos of potatoes chitting and young seedlings ready for planting out, how exciting it all seems, then you look at the calendar and realise it’s only late January. Now fast forward to late April and walking around a local Garden Centre I see folks buying cucumber plants and runner beans. Even as a seasoned gardener I wonder if I am missing something then looking out of the window at the hail, sleet, snow and bitter wind I realise that I am the cute one. My cucumber and runner bean seeds are still in their packet and that is where they will stay for another week.
I think to myself why are these places selling such plants at this time? Is it the fact that if they aren’t then someone else is and making the money. If they die of cold the buyer will be back for more so two sales instead of one. They have covered themselves with a sign saying’ Protect these plants from frost.’ No mention of biting winds. Is it simply the fact that they are there for us so it must be time to plant. Are we in such a hurry for summer that we just can’t wait or basically is it that we just don’t know anymore and go with the flow.
Of course, if you are making up containers or growing plants on inside a glasshouse then, bought now, they will be top quality plants at bedding time which is from mid-May onward depending where you live. Cucumbers can be planted early in a heated glasshouse but runner beans are sub tropical and are the last to go in the veg garden. Without going on any more I will just say remember our weather is very fickle therefore sow and grow accordingly but most important, take your time.