May often feels like the busiest of months. There are all the seedlings to be pricked out and hardened off, which means doing the coldframe/greenhouse shuffle. Yet more things to be sown directly on the plot. Hardy plants to be planted out early on, and then towards the end of the month all of the more tender plants too. Netting for protection and supports for climbers all to be constructed. Potatoes to be earth up against late frosts. And then there are the weeds to contend with, which this month have gone berserk with all the rain we’ve had.
So I’ve had very little time for blogging I’m afraid. It’s raining today, so it’s a good excuse to give you a little catch up on my plot progress this month.
The brassicas bed is full, and is doing well so far. 7 brussels sprouts (pictured above) a red variety that I’m very pleased with so far. 6 purple sprouting broccoli (lost one) a mixture of summer and winter flowering, though they all seem to be growing at the same pace, so I’m not sure how that will work out. And 7 savoy cabbages. All fully netted against the pigeons and cabbage whites, and hopefully the whitefly too.
The overwintering onions are doing brilliantly and should be ready to harvest quite soon, though the tops aren’t bending over just yet. The garlic was doing great but now has quite a lot of rust. And rust is also wreaking havoc on my broad beans. They’re still flowering and fruiting fine, but it will start to spread to the beans before too long. I don’t think there’s much I can do there.
Cucamelons have been planted out and are starting to wind their way up the poles, but they look so fragile I keep thinking the stems will break with the first gust of wind. Sweetpeas have also been planted, along with cosmos, sunflowers and dahlias. I also have some zinnias at home to fill a space once I can find one!
The final couple of leeks were pulled up, one of which had a large flower stalk in the middle and was fit only for the compost bin, but the other one was perfectly fine and made us a lovely spicy alternative to leek and potato soup (see recipe here if you want it). The bed was thoroughly dug back over, some manure added, and is now home to 9 sweetcorn, a couple of courgettes and one butternut squash.
The rhubarb continues to grow, and grow, and grow!
The raspberries have been given a dose of epsom salts as they have very yellow looking leaves. This is often a problem with my raspberries early on in the year, they usually recover and fruit okay, but they don’t look too healthy. I’m sure they must be deficient in something. Epsom salts are good for a magnesium deficiency which often causes yellow leaves, so I’ll see if this helps.
Kale and lettuce growing well, and you can just see the beetroot sprouting up at the top of the picture. The nasturtiums at the bottom have been transplanted from the potato bed where they are growing like crazy. They’ve self-seeded from last years patch, so I’ve been trying to dig up and transplant as many as I can.
Finally back at home, I have 5 chilli plants lined up along with windowsill of my lean-to. They seem a little bit slow this year, but they’re getting there, and I think so am I. Just the tomatoes and leeks still to plant.