Thursday, 19 June 2008

The Growing Season

For subtropical plants such as tomatoes and sweet peppers the growing season is confined to about four or five months for the outdoor grower in the UK and about eight or nine months if you have a greenhouse.

If you have a heated greenhouse you could start to sow tomato seed as early as January indoors and plant out in the greenhouse in early March. This could produce a crop as early as late May or June.

However, most gardeners have an unheated or cold greenhouse where seed may be sown indoors early March and planted in the greenhouse early May. This could produce a crop ready to start picking in July. If you are growing outdoors, it would be reasonable to expect ripe tomatoes in August if you planted outside late May.

There are advantages to growing tomatoes outdoors. For one thing, there are less pests to worry about as white fly and greenfly prefer it indoors. It is also believed that tomatoes taste better if grown outdoors and are more resilient to disease.

Advantages of a Greenhouse

The advantages of growing in a greenhouse are many and usually produce much better results than growing outdoors in the garden.

Protection from wind, rain and cold temperatures as well as from the burning sun are all advantages which the greenhouse grower has over gardeners whose plants are open to the elements.

Earlier harvests are among the advantages and when it comes to crops like tomatoes and sweet peppers, you can be among the first to be eating your own produce early in the season.