Plan your protection of early sowings

It's advised to sow your sweet corn in pots. Picture by Tom Pattinson.
It's advised to sow your sweet corn in pots. Picture by Tom Pattinson.

Ornamental and vegetable plants are easily started into growth within 15C to 20C, but what follows is critical.

They cannot be planted-out in the garden until the threat of frost has gone, which could mean late May.

This dictates that three months of protection might be required after germination, and good light is necessary to encourage sturdy growth. Too high a temperature, plus poor daylight, equals weak, spindly plants.

If you must sow early, have a plan in place to keep the plants ticking-over. Start them in cell trays and transfer later, rather than having to prick them out into trays.

My onions have been sown, also beans and peas introduced to small pots of moist compost. They can take the reduced cold greenhouse temperature.

Chrysanthemum stools are boxed up and potential cuttings are appearing. Early potatoes are ready for ‘chitting’, and sweet corn will be started in pots next.

The first vegetable sowings outdoors will come when the soil warms up.

Alnwick Garden Club meets on Tuesday, at 7.30pm, in The Alnwick Garden Pavilion. Visitors are welcome.