Raise your own if you have a heated greenhouse, and despite the cost, are prepared to use the facility in supporting early growth.
Options are more restricted under glass with no artificial heat, but use can be made of nature’s greenhouse effect – doors and shutters remaining closed to capture warmth from the late morning to early afternoon sun. Overnight, sheets of fleece cover plants.
I sustain pots of peas, beans, leaf lettuce, onion setts and shallots from February onward using this system. It also accommodates certain robust plug plants from an early stage, the key being carefully regulated watering.
Whether a supportive home-growing facility exists or not, from late January it’s good to know that back-up exists at the garden centre for the key summer crops.
I’m for buying a few mini-plants now and nurturing them, but it is tempting to relax, let others grow them on, dig deeper into finances and buy jumbo-sized plugs when Jack Frost’s gone.