Fruit and Vegetable Garden In May
At the beginning of May it is time to prepare the soil in the vegetable garden and add fertiliser before sowing your vegetable seeds. Here are some tips and creative ideas to help you enjoy your own home-grown produce this summer.
- Planting and maintenance tips for the kitchen garden
- Home-grown fruit
Whether you have a large garden or a cosy patio, you can still have the pleasure of growing your own fruit and vegetables. Plant in a pot or straight into the ground and enjoy a rich harvest of home-grown delicacies. They taste delightful and look very summery.
1. Planting and maintenance tips for the kitchen garden
- Harvest early crops such as lettuces and radishes as soon as they mature in May.
- Mature asparagus can be dug up carefully.
- Beetroots, lettuces, onions, carrots, peas and radishes can be sown this month. Plant in short rows to avoid having too much at one time.
- As the nights can still be cold at the beginning of May, cover all newly sown seeds and young seedlings with perforated plastic sheeting.
- Water the dry soil in the furrows lightly before sowing.
- Sow different lettuce varieties every two weeks, such as loose-leaf lettuce, lamb’s lettuce and iceberg lettuce. This prolongs the harvest period and provides different sorts for a mixed salad.
- Plant large seeds such as peas and beans at a suitable distance to avoid the need for thinning out.
- Presown leeks can now be planted out in the garden.
- Herbs can be sown straight in the herb garden or scattered between ornamental shrubs in the border. Most herbs have attractive leaves that add an extra dimension to the border.
- May is a good time to start a herb garden. Herbs such as aniseed, fennel, parsley and savory can now be sown outdoors.
- Aniseed, fennel and dill can also be planted in a perennial border. Their delicate feathery foliage and pretty flower heads will enhance the appearance of the border.
- Vegetables such as carrots, beetroots, celery, leeks and onions can be sown in May. With their shapely foliage and attractive colours, these plants look good in a decorative border too.
2. Home-grown fruit
What could be nicer than sampling your own delicious home-grown fruit in spring and summer? Most fruit trees and bushes will grow readily in pots and containers. These are attractive subjects for the patio or decking and have the added benefit of providing tasty home-grown produce. Here are some useful tips for planting and maintenance.
- Strawberry plants are very attractive in pots or planters on the patio or decking.
- They are also suitable for hanging baskets.
- It is important to make holes in the pots for drainage.
- For a top harvest, special strawberry compost is recommended.
- Keep the soil clean around your strawberry plants.
- In summer strawberries should preferably be watered lightly every day, especially if planted in pots, as these can dry out easily.
- Place strawberries in the sun but out of the wind.
- The delicious fruits can be picked from the end of June.
- Bring the pots and plants indoors in winter.
- Apple trees make a fine feature in a planter on the patio or decking.
- These trees are even suitable for small gardens if they are pruned to keep them compact.
- The best time to prune is in the winter months.
- You can pick the tasty fruits from July onwards.
- May is the perfect time to plant grape vines.
- Place the vine against a south facing wall, fence or pergola for the best results.
- Check regularly for damaged or diseased branches.