May always seems to be the month of promise and devastation in equal measure - plenty of sunshine to tempt you to act to quickly - with the odd late frost to decimate your keeness. Just keep an eye on the weather and you'll be fine... Welcome to Jobs in the garden for May.
Jobs In The Garden In May...
Top 5 Jobs - Vegetables
1. On The Run
Get your trenches dug and seeds of Runner Beans sown direct - or start them off in your greenhouse if you've not prepared the soil.
One of our favourites to grow, sweetcorn should be sown now - toilet roll tube are ideal as you can start them off and plant tube an' all.
3. Mais Oui
French beans can also be sown direct right now; like for runner beans, remember to add some support so they can sprawl and grow.
4. Hardening Off
If you are lucky enough to have a sunny spot in your garden and plan to grow some of your tomatoes outside, then harden off plants now.
5. Cucs and Cornichon
Cucumbers and gherkins (Cornichons if you're posh) are due to be sown right now - keep in ther greenhouse and water regularly.
Jobs In The Garden in May - Grow Your Own Tips...
Top 5 Jobs - Herbs
1. Wild For Garlic
It's not too late to gather the garlic - the South West is awash with this foragers favourite - brill for soups, pesto and salads.
2. Succession Sowing
If you use lots of herbs in your cooking, then look to succession sow your favourites - little and often will mean better crops and control
3. Flowered Up
Some herbs, such as Chives will produce brilliant purple flowers - like wild garlic, add these to salads for an amazing burst of flavour.
4. Plant Up
If you have been organised this year and have sown on successive weeks, then make sure the good work is not spoilt - pot up seedlings now.
5. Hot Stuff
Are chillies a herb, vegetable or fruit? Either way there's nothing more satisfying than your own. Grow now for fruits come late July.
Top 5 Jobs - Fruit
1. Strawberry Fields Forever
But only if you net your crop - the birds will love the small, green fruits that are appearing now, so get protecting as best you can.
Again, like your strawberries, those little globes of green that produce the blackest of currants are too tempting for birds. Net them, now.
A job we find heart-breaking - thinning out the fruits on your gooseberries, to encourage bigger growth for those that remain.
4. Aphid Attack
One of the gardener's major enemies, keep an eye out for aphids from now on. We prefer spraying with water and removing by hand.
5. Whip Into Shape
If you have corden or espalier trees, now's the time to tie in any new growth, whilst removing anything going in the wrong direction.