May 2017

b]General work[/b]
Make sure you feed spring sown vegetables – seaweed based fertiliser is good. Earth up your early potatoes by drawing up more soil over any shoots.

If you sowed onions and root crops last month, then with luck they will need thinning this month. Mr S leaves between 5 – 6 inches between his turnips and the 6-9 inches between his onions. Parsnips also like a lot of space.

Mint can be lifted and divided into smaller pieces only be warned – it spreads well and is best to restrain their roots by planting in flowerpots in the ground.

Get weeding and keep weeding; ‘little and often’ is best according to Mr S and remember to water young seedlings regularly.

Sweet-peas
You can sow some more outdoors if you forgot in February.

Winter Greens
I know it seems silly to think of winter in May but nature rarely hurries to grow anything. Sow your autumn and late winter cauliflowers, winter cabbage and kale now – either in the ground or in pots to make them stronger and better able to resist slug attacks.

Leeks
Sow some – they're very good for autumn and winter stews
They can be sown in a seedbed and transplanted when about the thinness of a pencil.

Succession sowing -keep going - and get going with beetroot, radish, lettuce, rocket, runner and french beans, pumpkins and squash.

Raspberries and strawberries
Cut off any raspberry shoots you don’t want so that the fruits get plenty of fresh air and sunshine. Mr S says there is no point in having more that six canes per plant and according to his gardening bible [AG Hellyer]'these should be quite close to the clump. Raspberries have a habit of sending up suckers all over the bed, and unless you remove them from the allyways, it will be almost impossible to get between the canes to pick the fruit later on.'
Slugs really like strawberries so keep watch. Remove the runners from the plants - you’ll get better berries and stronger plants. Also place clean straw or wood chippings around and between the strawberry plants; this will give them good protection if we get a drought by conserving water and stop them rotting if the drought fails and the ground gets wet.

You can spread a reasonably thick layer of well rotted manure around fruit trees and bushes of all types, including raspberries. This will help feed the plants and retain much needed moisture for their successful growing.

Dill
Sow somewhere sunny in well drained soil. It is a lovely smelling herb and grows tall and elegant – like me.

Runner Beans
You can sow them now in the open, individually or in pairs 7 inches apart. Make sure that you bury them two inches down in the soil. Sowing in pairs is a good idea for germination but you’ll need to remove one of each pair if they germinate.

Gooseberries
If you pick a few green ones now, thinning between the fruits a little, they’ll be small but it helps the gooseberry bush make bigger fruits later and you can enjoy an early Gooseberry Crumble.

Vegetable Marrows and ridge cucumbers
Sow outdoors where the plants will grow. You need 3 feet between them and buried under one inch of soil. Pop an inverted flower pot over them to keep the warm and safe. Ridge cucumbers like to be on small mounds of well rotted manure; they need plenty of sunshine so don’t put in a shady spot.
Duffus puts his marrows on mounds as well and floods it with water from time to time when they’re growing as they like lots of water but Mr S thinks this is silly. He digs a large hole, fills it with manure and then puts in the seed and just waters well when it is growing. Gary doesn’t do marrows as he thinks they’re ‘common’. There’s a lot Gary doesn't do.

Weather and pest watch
Keep an eye on both. Remember, if there is a lack of rain you will need to keep watering

Leeks
Sow some more.

Remember that carrot fly is attracted by the smell, so planting marigolds around them is a good idea or sowing between rows of onions. Succession sowing can also include beetroot, parsnips, salad vegetables, French beans and, if you’re like Gary, salsify and scorzonera.

More Plot Updates

September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
February 2017
January 2017
November 2016
September 2016
July 2016
June 2016