Spring has sprung and the likelihood is that you are planning on doing a bit of work in your garden. Too often, people give up because they have set themselves mammoth tasks. You don’t need to go all Good Life on us – and don’t feel ashamed if you still buy the bulk of your fruit and veg. However, if you do want to try your hand at growing your own, take a look at what to sow in May.
If you haven’t sown your brassicas yet, this is your last chance! Any later than May and you will miss the boat, unless you are planting early varieties to pick next spring. If the weather is mild, sow your Brussels sprouts, cabbages and cauliflower outside, but if temperatures are yet to rise, it is worth sowing inside and transferring outside when the weather warms up a bit. Don’t worry about your calabrese and purple sprouting broccoli; you have a couple of months before you need to sow them.
It is a good idea to continually sow kale, chard and spinach so that you always have a fresh new growth to pick. By May, these more delicate greens can be sown outside, but remember to cover them if the weather gets very cold at night.
Peas and Beans
If you sowed peas and beans inside earlier in the year, your seedlings can be moved outside now. If you haven’t yet sown, you might not be too late; sow peas and beans about 5 inches apart, water gently and cross your fingers! As temperatures still aren’t particularly warm for May, it is worth continuing to sow your runner and French beans indoors until the soil has warmed.
Sweetcorn can go straight outside now it is May. Don’t sow your sweetcorn in rows; as satisfying as nice, neat rows are, sweetcorn needs to be in blocks to help promote pollination. You can use upside-down plastic bottles as effective cloches to protect your seedlings from the cold as well as slugs and snails.
Come May, it is fine to sow your root vegetables outside. Opt for hardy varieties of turnips, carrots swedes and beetroot, covering the beetroot with a plastic bottle/cloche if the temperatures drop. It is a good idea to make sure your soil is well turned as root vegetables like carrots will struggle to push their way through compacted, clay-heavy soil.
These are the basic vegetables that are relatively easy to sow, grow and maintain. It is always worth jotting down the variety of vegetable you used and the time of year you planted so that you can record your results and learn by trial and error. If you would like a stunning garden but just don’t have the time or the green fingers, why not get in touch with a friendly, professional gardener near you?