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Thursday 3 May 2018

The Vegetable Plot – May

There’s nothing I like more than picking fresh vegetables then putting them in the dinner you make that night. Patrick Duffy

Should you have a greenhouse without any extra heat it’s safe now to plant tomatoes and other tendercrops directly into the soil, or use a grow bag. If you haven’t started your own tomatoes from seed indoors you can still buy plants from the garden centre.

Give the plants the support they need – a string or line from ceiling to floor will enable you to get the plant growing around it. Remove side shoots and after the first truss appears, feed every second watering. Don’t over water, you’ll get a watery tomato, use as little as you can to ensure you get the full flavour.

Of course, if you don’t have a greenhouse you can still plant outside tomatoes a little later on. A bush variety such as ‘Red Alert’ is a favourite for a plentiful crop.

Once the frosts have passed you can be out there planting French and runner beans, courgettes, tomatoes and cucumbers, if you have young plants, or courgettes and marrows can be sown direct along with French beans.

There is still a chance of frost in May so earth up early potatoes or use horticultural fleece to cover them. Broad beans may be susceptible to black fly but you can counter this by pinching out the soft the tips once the lower pods have set. Sow peas, corn, Chinese cabbage and chicory mid-month.

  • Pot and harden off aubergines and capsicums
  • Train and feed cucumbers
  • Thin onion and root crops
  • Prune plums and cherries when the sap is rising
  • Protect brassica seedlings
  • Sow Swedes and salsify
  • Make successional sowings for a continuous crop
  • Plant lettuces, spinach and turnips in partial shade  

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