May is just the best, isn’t it? Especially this year when the Winter has been stubbornly holding on for all it’s worth. The buds are finally popping on the trees and the grass is beginning to grow. Forget the winter blues and think vibrant yellow/green spring leaves. Forget root vegetable stews, think tomatoes, basil, salt (not too much) and olive oil!
Here we go! My tomato plants are in the polytunnel getting settled in, I’ve other new guests too – dwarf and climbing French beans, cucumbers, yellow and green courgettes, and delicious squash ‘Delicata’ and ‘Uchiki Kuri’ and beautiful Hungarian Wax chili peppers.
My outdoor garden, as you may know, has been transformed into an easier to manage ‘no dig’ raised bed system which I’m hoping will help me improve my awful soil. Yes, it took a lot of digging to get it sorted but I’m hoping I can hang up my spade now and let the soil do what it has to do to heal itself. I’ll be trialling mychorrizal fungi this year which we’ll have on the site soon and hope to see some interesting results. Mychorrizal fungi are friendly fungi in the soil which process nutrients and feed them to your plant roots, they are the guys which we destroy when we dig our gardens over like I’ve just done!
Vegetable growers are behind this year as it’s simply been too cold to plant anything out but now, finally, planting time is upon us. May is easily the busiest month of the year with the majority of sowing and planting taking place, it’s an exciting time as the work we do now dictates the harvest we reap later on. Remember we are late this year so the traditional sowing times may need to be moved on a bit. I didn’t put in my potatoes this year until the end of April and will put in the last few stragglers this weekend. You can still put in all varieties of potato in the next week if you haven’t already, it’s just not the optimum time but still perfectly fine to put them in.
We’ve been asked a lot recently, because of the odd year, when it’s warm enough to plant outside. It’s more about soil temperature than air temperature though the two are obviously related. The key indicator will be your friends the weeds. If the soil is warm enough for the weeds to start to grow – it’s warm enough to plant your seedlings.
I’ve also written a couple more articles you may be interested in that aren’t included in the newsletter but are on our main blog like ‘Growing in Small Spaces’.
As always, we’re here to help, even if you just need some advice. Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or pick up the phone to our friendly team on 01 524 0884.
Have a fantastic growing season!
Andrew, Niall, Leon & John