During May, the edible garden really gets a wriggle on! Earlier sown and planted crops will grow incredibly well this month, and there's more to sow and plant. Some crops will need support, some pruning, and you need to be on the watch out for pests.
Don't forget to down tools on Sunday, May 10th and celebrate Garden Day with me. Why not wear a #flowercrown of edibles?
Celebrate your garden successes of the year and delve into some of our floral-inspired, plot-to-plate, garden day recipes:
The Vegetable Patch in May
- Sow sweetcorn directly into well-cultivated soil outside. Sow in blocks, not rows, for good pollination. F1 "Sundance" is a particularly good cropper and has been awarded RHS Award of Garden Merit.
, marrows, ridge cucumbers
in individual pots. When germinated plant the melons under glass or polythene as they will need all the heat they can get. All like lots of organic matter so plant them with lots of compost.
and other late winter vegetables now. Turnips and swedes should be sown where you want them to grow, but the others will need to be transplanted and spaced out.
Plant out basil
; this herb is best grown in a very sheltered spot, in pots. It may even pay to grow them in between your greenhouse tomatoes.
- Earth up early potatoes and keep a watch out for late frosts. Cover with horticultural fleece if frosty.
- Plant runner beans. Support them with canes or poles and strings. Make sure that they are protected from wind and well-watered at all times.
Support peas and mange-tout
with pea sticks, prunings or netting.
Find out what to plant this month in the May Growing Guide:
If necessary, prune stone fruits now (cherries, plums
, etc.). It's best to make a few large cuts, rather than lots of little ones, as this reduces the risk of silver leaf disease infection through the many open wounds.
runners as they develop as these waste the plant's energy. Lay straw under fruit trusses to prevent mud splashing. Cover with bird netting.
There's nothing worse than finding annoying maggots in your fruit, so make sure to hang pheromone traps on your apple and plum trees. The traps will attract and capture male moths, which indirectly reduces egg-laying and indicates when moth numbers are high in your garden. You can then use a single insecticide application rather than regularly spraying in the hope of gaining control. Tip: you'll need separate traps for apple and plum as they have different pests!
Find out alternatives to pesticides here:
- If deer are getting into your garden and eating your roses, apple shoots and other plants, try a sonic pest control systems. If badgers and foxes are coming in and causing damage, these sonic emitters work well on them too.
Jobs for the Greenhouse and Polytunnel plants
Start feeding greenhouse tomatoes with a high potash tomato feed as soon as you can see the first visible tiny fruit.
Remove side shoots from cordon type tomatoes before they get too long, and thin out the side shoots on bush varieties. Make sure to provide support for both types to prevent stem breakage when fruit becomes denser.
Find out what to plant this month in the May Growing Guide!
#Candide Festival of Flowers
Haven't you heard? It's the Candide Festival of Flowers!, meaning we're having a gardenia party all month long. To find out about what's going on, read the article below: