May Gardening

Broad Beans ready to eat
Broad Beans ready to eat

May Gardening

What a month we have just had. We could almost be convinced that it is still the middle of summer. It is only through careful observation and a good temperature gauge that I know we have had at least three mild frosts. The ground is very dry at the moment so we still need to be vigilant about watering, particularly vegetables and young trees. Those of you that have been getting late brassica seedlings in will at least be lucky this year to get some good growth on before winter cold sets in.

A few vegetables can still be planted now. Keep in mind though that once cold weather does come growth will be slow and many of the vegetables planted now will not be ready to eat before spring.

Try Chinese greens such as ‘bok choy’ ‘Tatsoi’ and ‘Mizuna’ these make tasty additions to salads and stir-fries.  Lettuces and Rocket are still growing now and prefer the slightly cooler weather.  Other vegetable which could be planted now for winter and spring greens include: corn salad (lambs lettuce), Cress (American upland and Broad), and Spinach.

Most Pea varieties can be planted now. Seed is best sown direct as all members of the legume family do not respond well to transplanting.

Do give broad Beans a go. Like most of us I too grew up having to eat those horrible overcooked big grey things referred to as ‘Broad Beans’. It was only in the last ten years that I tried them again. Picked when young and lightly steamed or stir-fried with a little butter, salt and pepper or in risottos they are delicious. They also make a very tasty Hummus with garlic and olive oil.

This month is also the time to plant potato onions, Garlic can also be planted now, though I always leave mine till June. If you do plant now you may be able to harvest some before Xmas. Make sure Garlic and potato onions are kept weed free, good mulch will make this much easier.