Gardeners’ World shares which vegetables to plant now to eat this summer – tomatoes & more

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Gardeners’ World’s experts, such as Monty Don, often shares gardening tips and tricks. This month, they have advised gardeners on which vegetables are best to grow now for best results come late spring and summer. There are a variety of vegetables that can be sown from seed this month, including basil, chillies, aubergines, tomatoes, and kale.

Basil

Gardeners’ World recommends growing basil in well-drained, fertile soil in a warm, sheltered position out of direct midday sun.

To get a quality crop that lasts, it is best to grow the plant in a container.

The experts advise starting the seeds off in pots of moist, peat-free, multi-purpose compost on a warm – but not sunny – windowsill.

When seedlings are big enough to handle, they can be potted into individual pots filled with a peat-free, soil-based compost.

Then, they can be put outside in early summer after the last frost.

It is best acclimitasing them to outdoor conditions first, standing them outside in a sheltered, lightly shared spot during the day, and bringing them back in at night, according to Gardeners’ World.

Aubergines

It is best to sow aubergine seeds indoors as early as January if you have a heated propagator, and from March if you don’t. Therefore, this is a vegetable to start sowing early next month.

Pick out seedlings and transplant them into individual 7.5cm pots when the first leaves appear.

Eventually, plant the seeds into the ground or individually in 30cm pots of peat-free, multi-purpose compost.

If growing aubergines outside, Gardeners’ World recommends waiting until all risk of frost has passed before moving them to their final growing positions.

The experts went on to advise how to encourage the plants to fruit, explaining that gardeners can either gently tap or shake the flowers with water to help release the pollen, or grow pollinator plants nearby to entice pollinators.

Pinch out the growing tips of the main stems of your aubergine plants when 30cm high to encourage side shoots to develop.

Furthermore, use a high potash fertiliser or tomato feed once the plants have started to flower.

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Chillies

Chillies are sown in a similar way to aubergines.

They are a good crop to start in February, according to Gardeners’ World, but only if you have a heated propagator.

This is because most varieties need a minimum temperature of 25ºC to germinate.

It is best to sow two to three seeds thinly per small individual pot using seed compost.

Then, cover them to their own depth with vermiculite.

Tomatoes

The tomato is another ideal vegetable to plant this month.

Tomato seeds need a minimum temperature of 10ºC to germinate, therefore they are best started off in a heated propagator.

However, if gardeners wait until the end of the month or early next month, a sunny windowsill should be warm enough to encourage germination.

Gardeners’ World recommends making sure the pots or trays are covered to stop temperatures falling dramatically at night.

Kale

Kale is quite straightforward to sow, according to the gardening experts.

It is advised that gardeners sow seeds indoors in modules or 7cm pots, with two to three seeds per module.

It is best to keep them on a sunny windowsill.

All the vegetables above will be ready to eat come summer. 

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