GARDEN | May Gardening Tips: May The (Ground) Force Be With You.18th May 2014
It’s the cusp of summer so now’s the time to go for it! May is a great month, warm breezes herald the coming summer and you’ve probably had your first BBQ by now (albeit wrapped up warm and heading inside as soon as it gets too cold!) Your garden loves this time of year and any early crops you’ve sown may even be ready for your first harvest. Yum
Don’t sow in one go– Now’s the time to plant in earnest, as always keep an eye on temperatures and uses clouches if necessary. The main thing to remember here is: don’t sow everything at once. Stagger your planting of the same crop, especially if you’re going to be eating it all yourself. Plant a few of each thing you want to grow and then a few more two or three weeks later. This helps to avoid gluts and means you can be eating an interesting and varied diet for the rest of the year.
Water, water, water – If young plants dry out they can easily die. May can be a deceptively dry month, cloudy and misty days can make you forget to water the plants. The best way I’ve found is to have a watering schedule – I water twice a day, in the morning and evening. Even if there have been showers during the day – just in case. You can usually tell by looking and feeling if the soil is damp enough. Just keep on top of it and everything will be fine.
Keep on top of your weeding – Weeds grow just as fast as your crops *shakes fist at sky* so make sure you keep getting rid as soon they appear. As with watering get yourself a weeding schedule. Try and get out there as often as you can as the weeds are always competing with your plants for the nutrients in the soil.
Thinning – Everything you’ve been starting off indoors may now need thinning out. It’s tempting to keep as many sprouts as possible but bear in mind how large the plants can become. If they end up competing for space that will only end up being detrimental to the yield you end up with.
Sowing seeds outdoors – There are so many great crops that can now go in the ground including – spinach, peas, kale, spring onions, lettuces, carrots, cauliflowers, rocket and runner beans.
Sowing seeds indoors – Your early batches of indoor sown seeds should mostly be outside now, so clean up those trays and get a new batch on the go. It’s time to get those summery foods in the windowsill. Summer cabbages, chillies, peppers and runner beans will all be ready to go!
It’s full steam ahead now. This is the time to start marking pages in your recipe books and Googling “things to do with runner beans” because the garden explosion is about to happen and you won’t want to waste a thing.