The last frost date for the Edinburgh area is generally around May, just to be on the safe side though most local vegetable growers wait until June before planting out any frost tender plants. The start of May has been particularly chilly so waiting those few extra days is definitely worth it.

Frost tender vegetables include runner beans, french beans, courgettes and tomatoes. The beans can be sown directly outside in June but the courgettes and tomatoes need to be started off inside. Courgettes are pretty speedy to germinate in warm conditions but tomatoes will need a little longer – about 6 weeks before planting out.

Any plant that is grown inside or under glass will need hardening off before being planted out. This is the process of acclimatising the plant to the outside conditions. Usually plants grown indoors or in a greenhouse are placed outside in a sheltered spot for a few hours each day. The time outside is increased daily and after 1 – 3 weeks the plants are ready to go outside permanently.