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Experts reveal which vegetables you should plant NOW for best results in summer

SOW your seeds now for a better crop in summer, according to experts. The New Year brings with it an opportunity to get ahead with your gardening. Here is a guide to sowing seeds indoors so you can start growing your vegetables now. Gardeners’ World has said chillies, aubergines and basil are the best vegetables […] ...

SOW your seeds now for a better crop in summer, according to experts.

The New Year brings with it an opportunity to get ahead with your gardening.

Gardeners’ World shares its expert tips for growing your vegetables

Here is a guide to sowing seeds indoors so you can start growing your vegetables now.

Gardeners’ World has said chillies, aubergines and basil are the best vegetables to grow now for results in late spring and summer.

Chillies

Lots of chillies can be bought at supermarkets, but when gardeners grow their own, the choice is huge.

Chillies are easy to grow from a sunny patio or balcony. It’s recommended you grow them in a container.

It’s best to use a greenhouse or grow them on a south-facing patio or windowsill.

Chillies take a while to grow, so it’s best to start in January.

Using peat-free compost and a propagator under a growing light will give the best results.

When the leaves start to appear, put them into individual pots.

Once the plants have started flowering, you should feed the seeds with a high potash fertilizer.

Aubgergines

If you plant your aubergine seeds now, they will be ready for harvest between July and October.

If you have a heated propagator, you can sow aubergine seeds in January. If not, it’s best to wait until March.

Put your seedlings into individual 7.5cm pots when the first leaves appear.

After more growth, plant the seeds into the ground or into individual 30cm pots of peat-free multi-purpose compost.

Gardeners’ World recommends waiting until all risk of frost has passed before moving them to their final growing positions.

Pinching the growing tips of the main stem of your aubergine when they are 30cm high will help side roots develop.

Basil

Growing basil in well-drained, fertile soil, in a warm and sheltered place will yield the best results.

It’s best to grow your basil in a container, if you want a quality crop that will last.

Moist, peat-free, multi-purpose compost on a warm, but not sunny, windowsill is ideal.

When your seedlings are big enough to handle, put them in individual pots filled with peat-free, soil-based compost.

After the last frost, you can put them outside.

Acclimatising your basil to the outdoors is important. At first, stand them outside in a sheltered spot during the day and bring them back in at night.

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