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Tuesday 3 May 2022

The Vegetable Plot - May

Succession for success

You can have a continual supply of lettuce, carrots and onions from spring until autumn and even beyond with succession sowing. By staggering crop propagation, you can extend the harvest season and it need not be complicated, but does require a bit of planning. 

If you’re an ‘online’ person, you can find charts that will help your planning. Virtually any crop can be part of your plan and you may want repeat planting of a favourite crop or different varieties which mature at different times. So, it takes a little time to map out what you want, when to plant and when to repeat.

About now you can sow late broccoli, peas, maincrop beetroot, dwarf beans, sweet corn and plant out winter greens such as Brussels sprouts and cauliflower that are hardened off. Pot on and harden off capsicums and aubergines. French beans like a warm spot and a maincrop of runner beans can go in this month. If you plant early, mid and late season potatoes, you could have potatoes all summer and each variety has different taste and texture. 

One thing you don’t want to do is overtax the soil. You can avoid this by planning crop rotation, introducing organic material to your beds and mulching. If you can spare the space, leaving a bed fallow or seeded with cover crop. That is, a crop sown solely to be worked back into the soil to provide nutrients, in much the same way as farmers do. 

  • Sow bush marrows and courgettes in warm soil
  • Protect brassica seedlings
  • Plant out celeriac raised from seed in March
  • Plant out winter greens
  • Earth up early potatoes
  • Harvest asparagus from second and third year beds
  • Mulch fruit trees
  • Thin peaches and nectarines

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