A GARDENING expert is sharing tips on how to grow healthier vegetables that also last longer.
Many gardeners grow their plants inside first before transplanting them into an outdoor garden.
According to gardener Mark Torregrossa, there are a few categories of vegetables that this can be done to, including vine vegetables such as squash, melons and pumpkins.
But Torregrossa says these plants will come out healthier if planted directly into the garden.
Instead, a better compromise would be to buy and transplant one of the vegetables for one week and plant the rest from seeds in the next week.
“Remember – all of these vegetables I just talked about like at least 65-degree soil to germinate,” said Torregrossa. This means that those seeds need the warmest soil to sprout.
It’s possible to plant a vegetable bought from your local greenhouse, Torregrossa said, but you’ll want to cover those plants on cool nights since they flourish in warm soil.
“These plants just don’t like chilly weather. They can go into an almost shocked, stunted condition if it gets too chilly.”
Another thing to look out for, Torregrossa said, is plants that are “pot bound” as these don’t last as long.
The smaller plants will result in ripe vegetables a week sooner than planting directly in the soil.
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In Torregrossa’s own garden, two plants that benefited from growing directly outside were sweet corn and green beans.
“It’s a little late to do this now, unless you did it today,” he said.
“But for future seasons, try starting sweet corn in mid-April and plant out in the garden mid-May.”
He also advises not to plant the crop all in one row, as doing it in shorter rows will give you an early harvest. This can also be done with green beans.