May

General Maintenance

  • Thin seedlings as they grow.
  • Keep on top of weed growth by hoeing on dry warmer days.
  • Watch out for pests such as Aphids, Slugs and Snails.
    Start the annual vigil against them with your preferred method.
  • If not already done so erect Bean rigs for Runner Beans and climbing French Beans.

Vegetables

  • Keep earthing up Potatoes to exclude light and stop any poisonous green patches on the tubers.
  • Harden off and plant crops raised under glass last month.
  • Tomatoes that have been bought or raised for planting outside will need potting on if the weather is to cold for them to go out.
  • Keep on with successional sowings of Radish, Lettuce, Rocket and all salad leaves.
  • At the end of the month plant out Beans, French and Runner varieties along with self blanching Celery, but protect if there is any chance of a late frost.
  • Plant Sweet Potato slips once the soil has warmed up.
  • Sow Beetroot, winter cabbage, Broccoli and Swedes.

Fruit

  • Net any developing fruits to protect from birds.
  • Remove blossoms from newly planted trees to give them a chance to establish.
  • Keep Strawberry fruits clean by tucking straw under the plants.
    Remove unwanted runners so the plant can put full effort into producing fruit.
    Pin down a few runners to produce plants for next year.
  • prune out any unwanted Raspberry shoots to keep the plant open and allow the fruit to ripen
  • Tie in canes as they grow on Blackberries and other ramblers.
  • Remove alternate berries on Gooseberry bushes for bigger fruits. The small thinnings are used for cooking.

Greenhouse

  • Crops that are to be grown in the greenhouse should be in their final position now. Or potted up into larger pots to keep them growing steadily.
  • Pinch out the tips of Cucumbers and Melons when they have five leaves to induce fruiting side shoots.
  • Crops that are waiting to be planted outside can be moved to the cold frame to harden off and give extra space in the greenhouse that is always at a premium at this time of year.
  • Don’t water plants over their foliage, small droplets of moisture can magnify the suns rays and lead to scorching.
  • ventilate the greenhouse at every opportunity, day time temperatures can be very high.
  • Greenhouse aphids and other pests will be very active now so catch them early before they can multiply to plague proportions.