Growing Vegetables At Slopefield
Growing vegetables in Aberdeen takes a little more effort than elsewhere in the UK due to our hardy soil type and colder weather. The information on seed packets about sowing and harvesting times, therefore, need to be modified a bit since they are predominantly aimed at a more benign climate and soil condition. Most seed companies are based in Lincolnshire so their sowing advice tends to favour the midlands to south of England.
A good rule of thumb for sowing outdoors is to add a month to the information on the seed packet, unless you have a greenhouse to sow indoors. if you do sow early in the greenhouse, use a heated propagator in accordance with the seed packet instructions.
You may, however, have a problem in hardening off the seedlings before the local soil temperature and ambient temperatures are high enough to plant them out in the growing bed. This applies particularly to courgettes which can grow quite large in the greenhouse by the time it is warm enough to plant them out.
Generally any seedlings grown in the greenhouse, or on a windowsill need to be hardened off in a cold frame for two weeks prior to transplanting into their final grow bed.
Ideally most vegetable seeds require a minimum ground temperature of 10 C to germinate, but since ground frost can still affect Slopefield well into May, a roll of fleece is a necessary accessory to protect young seedlings.