May: Miles Ferrante

Sow:

  • Beetroot – (in modules, makes it much easier to plant out)
  • Broad beans
  • Broccoli – (purple sprouting) Claret and Rudolph are good varieties.
  • Carrots – (try yellow and purple carrots) Yellowstone works in all types of soil.
  • Chard – bright lights
  • Courgettes – Defender, Tuscany and Pathenon are the best varieties.
  • Cucumbers – Try Burpless Tasty, grow on a mound or ridge to aid drainage.
  • French beans – I grow a climbing heritage variety called Bob and Mary and a modern dwarf variety called Ferrari.
  • Kale
  • Leeks – Mussleborough seeds available in the shop.
  • Lettuce – grow something different like Nyman’s, Amaze, Red Iceberg. Sow little and often to avoid a glut.
  • Melons
  • Parsnips – try tender and true, hollow crown, gladiator.
  • Peas – still for sale in the shop.
  • Pumpkins
  • Radishes
  • Rocket – goes great with salad’s.
  • Runner Beans – a must for the allotment, we have some for sale in the shop.
  • Spinach – perpetual is the best variety.
  • Squashes
  • Swedes – grow in modules to avoid flea beetle.
  • Sweetcorn – It’s so important to grow the right variety in all vegetables, especially sweetcorn, it’s the difference between success and failure. Swift always works for me.
  • Turnips

Plant:

  • Potatoes (not many left in shop so hurry up and buy if required),
  • Summer cabbages, broad beans, artichokes,
  • Leeks when pencil thick,
  • Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, lettuce. Granular fertilizers such as fish, blood and bone, Growmore, Vitax Q4, potato fertilizer all available in the shop.
  • Onions – if you haven’t planted them with a granular slow release fertilizer you will need to feed them occasionally.
  • Tomatoes– plant in an unheated greenhouse after the middle of May.
  • Potatoes – earth up as they grow.
  • Peppers – Pinch out when they are about 12” tall to encourage lots of branches.  Feed every 2 weeks with liquid fertilizer (Organic and non-organic available in the shop)

Fruit:

  • Apples – Codling moth pheromone traps should be put up the middle of May.
  • Plums – Plum moth pheromone traps should be put up the beginning of May.  I started using these traps 3 years ago on my plot as every plum I tried to eat had a maggot inside, but last year was the best ever so far, less than 10% were infected.
  • Feed all fruit trees, bushes, with fish, blood and bone and mulch underneath with manure.
  • Blackberries – tie in new shoots.

Pests and diseases:

  • Spray any fruit trees if infested with aphids or caterpillars after petal fall with organic sprays, use these at night when the bees are in bed.
  • Brassicas – cover or the pigeons will have a picnic.
  • Gooseberries – check for pests.
  • There are organic slug pellets available in the shop to help guard against damage to newly planted runner beans and cabbage.
  • Leeks – there is now a pheromone trap that can be used for leeks, or you can net them. We have netting and fleece in the shop.

Other jobs:

  • Still very cold at the moment but shade your greenhouse on hot days and/or leave the door open or your plants will fry in the heat.
  • Harden off plants before planting out or they will go into shock and it will take a couple of weeks before they start growing again.
  • Earth up potatoes to protect from late frost.
  • Straw strawberries, put straw, cardboard or polythene under plants to keep them off the soil.
  • Feed plants: Brassicas = poultry manure, Onions and other root vegetables = Vitax Q4, fruit = Bonemeal, tomatoes = Tomorite, Potatoes = potato fertilizer, all other veg = fish, blood and bone or Growmore. All available in the shop.
  • Use pheromone traps in apple and plum trees to stop codling and plum moth maggots ruining fruit.
  • Keep a watch out for pests and diseases especially slugs. Organic slug pellets available in the shop.

Finally, I was reading a book earlier printed in 1936 which states you should lightly dust your Cabbages with DDT! I wonder if the author lived past 40?