Garden Notes for May 2022.
The way prices are rising everywhere makes it even more important to grow your own where you can. This year the Capel Horticultural Society will be having its Plant Sale on Saturday 7th May and most of the plants, especially vegetable seedlings, will have been grown by members. This means that they will be used to the micro environment of our wonderful village and should flourish once the frosts are over. Look out for runner beans, courgettes, leeks and herbs amongst many other offerings at bargain prices. One national seed company is offering runner bean plants at over 60p per plant. It is probable that they will be at a much reduced price at the Plant Sale so come along to the Village Hall for the start at 10 o’clock.
May is a good month to divide primulas and polyanthus after they have flowered, move any that are badly placed (in full sun for example). Plant out sweet peas sown last autumn, and sow some more at the base of the supports to keep a succession going.
Remember that frost is still a threat, so be careful about planting out tender plants, especially in exposed areas of the garden. Better to wait until June. Sow biennials like Canterbury bells and Sweet William. Fast growing hardy annuals such as calendula, clarkia, cornflower, and nasturtium can also be sown, but do it early in the month.
In unheated greenhouses or coldframes, now is the time to sow basil, calabrese, summer cauliflower, French and runner beans, kale, lettuces, parsley and sprouting broccoli. Put up supports for runner beans and late peas, but make sure that they will not shade out sun-loving neighbours. Remember to continue to earth up potatoes to protect them from frost and to encourage more tubers. It is also the way to stop the tubers from going green. If they become exposed to sunlight, that’s exactly what they will do.
Sow courgettes and marrow at a minimum temperature of 18ºC. Keep potting-on tomatoes as they outgrow their pots until they are in the final growing spot.
Direct sow beetroot, winter cabbage and maincrop carrots
If frost is forecast, protect the flowers of strawberries with fleece.
With good wishes for Good Gardening