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What to do in May

20140506-124701.jpg20140502-221308.jpgWith the risk of frost getting smaller and smaller, May is a month of potting out, and growing on.

There is usually a hint, if lucky, of the glut of food that will soon be coming your way.

The jobs come thick and fast, and the weeds will grow faster than any plant you put out, so be on guard for the pesky weeds!

Outdoors, ensure you keep earthing up your potatoes – and still keep your ear to the ground in case of late frosts in early May.

Keep your seedlings thinned out. If you have sown a long line of Beetroot for instance, ensure you thin them out to the spacing they require to grow large enough to make an impact on the plate. You can pop any thinning in an early salad.

Continue the successional sowings throughout May of salad leaves, you can try successional sowing of other crops too, like Peas, Cabbages and Cauliflowers, Carrots and coriander.

May is also the time to start thinking about your Winter crops. Any Brassica you will be sowing now, will be fruiting Late Autumn. It’s important to keep your stocks up, so avoid the lull in produce by continuing to sow.

Stick to your plan, and only sow what you will use (or give away!)

20140506-124650.jpgIt’s time to clear the over wintered Brassica, as they are now probably bolting – unless you want to let them go to seed. Then you can leave them in the ground, if you have space. They will also attract some much-needed pollinators to your garden.

Harden off the tender crops that have been in the greenhouse by placing them outside during the day, or popping them in a coldframe. This will clear much-needed space in the greenhouse.

If you are companion planting, you should be able to direct sow the seeds for these plants now.

Take softwood cuttings from your favourite herbs such as Rosemary, Thyme and Lavender.

Now is a safe time to start sowing your tender crops under cover, such as Courgettes, pumpkins, squashes sweet corn and runner beans.

Always check your plants in the greenhouse for signs of stress, and pot on as soon as you see any evidence of it.

Keep a check on your Tomato plants in the greenhouse too. Ensure you keep on top of the training (‘Cordoning’) by removing any of the side shoots. Also, don’t let them flower until the plant has reached a decent hight. You really want the plants to put their effort into growing strong and hwpid-20150303_140657.jpgealthy, ready for the fruiting season. Once large enough, and the flowers start to show, mist them regularly with water to encourage the fruit to set.

Train your cucumbers the same as you would tomato plants to conserve space in the greenhouse.

Continue to open greenhouse windows and doors on hot days. The temperature can vary hugely at this time of the year, putting unescesary stress on your plants.

Keep an eye out for pests and diseases.

 

Originally posted 2018-05-01 16:04:42.

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