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Your summer growing guide: Veggies to plant now, and enjoy later in the year

by Norwoods Gardener | May 06, 2021

If you’re looking for some guidance on which vegetables to grow this May, you’ve come to just the right place! We’ve put together a guide packed full of inspiration to help you decide which veggies to sow right now – both indoors and outside.

1.Courgettes

Courgettes are a fantastic plant for beginners as they’re really simple to grow. Our top tip for sowing outdoors would be to wait until the end of May or early June – just to be sure all the frosty spells are over. Harvest between July and September, and enjoy their sweet, rich and nutty flavour.

2.Runner Beans

Now is a great time to start thinking about growing runner beans, so get seeds sown in either pots or trays – using good quality compost – ready for harvesting in the months of July to October. Once sown, pots can be left on either a windowsill or in a greenhouse. After a couple of weeks, they’ll be ready to plant outside, but make sure to use protective cloches until the risk of frost has gone.

3.Sweetcorn

It may come as a surprise to some, but it’s possible to grow sweetcorn at home in the UK – and we think it’s tastier than shop-bought sweetcorn too. Home-grown sweet corn is renowned for its succulent nature. It’s also another really simple vegetable to grow, and May is a great time to sow your sweetcorn seeds directly outside. As sweetcorn is wind pollinated, they need to be planted in blocks rather than rows so we’d recommend either sowing them 3x3 or 4x4, leaving approximately 12 inches between each plant. Remember to keep seedlings well-watered throughout the growing period to ensure a healthy crop!

4.Peas

There’s no nicer way to brighten up your summer salad than by adding some refreshing and crisp peas – even better when they’re homegrown! Anytime between now and June, mangetout, maincrop and sugar snap peas can be sown directly outdoors. However, in order to make sure seedlings are protected, cloches may be necessary to help with germination. Our top tip is to use soil with good drainage and position the seedlings in an open and sunny area.

5.Beetroot

Beetroot is a delicious and versatile vegetable and can be pickled, roasted or boiled. Just like sweetcorn, it’s a good idea when sowing beetroot seeds to include two seed per location, then thinning the weaker seed and leaving the stronger one to grow. One of our top tips when sowing beetroot is to sow a small number of seeds every couple of weeks (until July) as this will allow lots of crop – plus thinned beetroot seeds work great in salads!

Our ultimate growing tip

Before you start sowing, it’s important to remember that these crops are temperature sensitive! Our top tip would be to make sure there’s no chance of frost when growing directly outside –also that it’s warm enough. Sowing in soil that’s too cold can lead to poor germination.

If you’d still like some more growing inspiration and would like to keep up with out other gardening related journeys, head over to our social channels - where you can hear more of our gardening tips and tricks.