Join me in this weeks podcast where I am sharing a few tasks and seeds to sow in May. I also share the latest from the allotment and vegetable garden.
This week has been an eventful week. one of my chickens got attacked by a fox. its nature I know but its still upsetting. Thankfully the chicken has survived but we are all being very cautious. One thing I am rather grateful for is my omlet chicken run, which has been designed to be fox proof.
Saturday was international compost day so a day to focus on composting. Which gave me a chance to mention Subpod. My Subpod has been a huge success to the point I want another. For me the real advantage Subpod has is that its a discreet way to compost especially if you have a small garden.
Of course I have been busy sowing lots of seeds and pricking out seedlings all of which can be heard on the podcast.
Tasks and seeds to sow in May
Its the beginning of May a new month which means we can start looking at what seeds we can sown this month and what tasks we can tackle this month.
In terms of what seeds we can sow there are lots and lots of different seeds I think there's is very few seeds we cant sow really and towards the end of the month we can sow many of these seeds outside if you so wish.
Carrots beetroot and parsnips are the very few seeds I sow directly in the ground where they are to grow. I can do this early in the month so if you are further north you might want to wait a week or two or protect these seeds with some enviromesh or a cloche. Now I have found that sowing parsnips in May the soil is generally warm enough to be successful where as in my experience earlier sowing’s have proven to be sporadic with germination.
Sweetcorn is another seed that I will hold of until May to sow. These tend to grow pretty quick and so I don’t want them hanging around for too long. I sow these in my root trainers 1 seed per pot and place this in my greenhouse until germination which then get planted out in a couple of weeks time.
I also sow pumpkins, melons and other squashes this month. I have sown some at the end of April but again these plants grow very quick so I don’t want them hanging around in pots for too long. The sooner I can get them into the ground the better.
Peas, Runner beans, french beans, green beans or climbing beans however you might want to call them can all be sown this month too. Again I find these grow quick so tend to hold off until end of April beginning of May with a view to get them into the ground once the risk of frost has passed.
Many brassicas such as cabbage and cauliflowers can also be sown this month and in many ways these will be our winter crops so its well worth getting them sown and growing ready for food during the cold winter months. Thinking ahead is often the name of the game with this way of life.
Tomato seeds can still be sown if you haven't already sown any. I would however say its a little too late for chilli’s, peppers and aubergines. However pop down to a garden centre and they will sell plenty of these in pots ready for you.
Salad leaves and lettuce of course can be sown, pretty much every month I sow these but lets not forget radish, spring onions, spinach, chard, rocket pak choi and watercress can all be sown too which if you like to eat lots of salad greens then these will certainly keep you well stocked up. Watercress is always one I have struggled to grow from seed but I will be trying again this month just got to make sure it doesn't dry out. Although we can also grow from a piece of watercress bought from a shop by simply popping a piece in some water, change the water daily until roots grow then pop into some soil. Just make sure watercress stays wet at all times.
And finally pretty much all herbs can be sown this month too, basil, rosemary, sage, thyme, lemon balm just to name a few.
Tasks for May
That’s a lot of seeds that can be sown but don’t worry if you didn’t write that all down, the script for this section will be on the blog page for this podcast at thevegggrowerpodcast.co.uk but if that wasn’t enough to keep you busy this month there are many more tasks that we can tackle.
Keep pricking out and potting up your plants. We will be planting these out this month after the risk of frost has passed. If you want to work out when this is for your area then find out when your last frost date is. You can usually find this with a quick search online, wait a couple of weeks after this date to be safe and there you have the date its safe to plant out. So for me my last frost date is 25th April, I will add a couple of weeks to that and that’s when its safe to plant out, and therefore I start hardening off plants ready to go into the ground.
We are going to continue earthing up potatoes, by drawing soil up around the potatoes as they grow so that the tops of the plants are just poking out the ground., this year I am using grass clippings and constantly covering the potatoes with grass clipping as they grow. This stops any potatoes turning green, and helps preserve moisture in the ground.
Start making supports for beans and peas to grow up. In the past I have used a collection of bamboo canes for this but this time I want to make a proper frame for these to climb up, something a bit more stable and secure.
Keep on top of the weeds and lawn cutting. These will both be growing like mad this month and I do find doing a little but doing it often helps keep on top of these tasks. Daily visits to the allotment for 20 minutes weeding will make a dramatic difference.
Start looking at protecting the fruits you have growing, straw around the base of strawberries and netting over all fruit plants and bushes will help protect them from pests such as birds. Its also worth checking over gooseberry bushes fir sawfly caterpillars. They will quickly eat through all foliage if left unchecked.
Keep watering all your plants too. This goes without saying but even if it rains it may not be enough water to really penetrate the soil. If your unsure dig a little hole and see just how far down the soil is dry.
Finally take time to enjoy your garden, I think I say this quiet often but I do believe its so important to stand back and admire your work and enjoy your space.