May, of all the months, seems to fly by. I don’t know what it is, but it always seem to be a month that happens; before you even realise your in it. In terms of the allotment, it’s the month when everything grows. Everything including the weeds. In fact, I’m sure the weeds grow quicker. Still, there are benefits to this growth spurt; flowers emerge, bulbs swell and fruit forms.
Finally the allotment has started to offer us a reliable harvest. The broad beans that I planted way back in October/November have done brilliantly, perhaps aided by the mild winter. We’ve been picking them for a couple of weeks now and we’ve still got lots to go and another row or two developing. Those spring sowings are not quite doing as well as the overwintered variety, but hopefully the warm weather of June will help bring them on and even allow us a cheeky final sowing! Salad leaves have been doing well, although the leaves I sowed in the greenhouse were decimated by extreme heat one day (all shrivelled and crispy). The Swiss chard continues to give us a supply, as does the spinach, although both are beginning to go to seed now the weather hots up. This month has also seen me channelling my inner forager, with nettles for a risotto and elderflowers for cordial being harvested. The elderflowers in particular look like they will give a good harvest, so I must get round to making some more cordial, or even champagne and fritters. Oh yes, and we harvested the first strawberry (from the greenhouse) the other day!
As with last month, there’s been a lot of sowing going on. Various crops haven’t taken a liking to the heat in the greenhouse on some of the days, or my erratic watering, and have suffered as a result. So, I need to sow some more climbing beans and peas. I also want to get some dwarf beans started; they’re a family favourite, but have somehow got through the seed ordering and sowing net. Outside, there’s more rows of carrots to sow and I’ve got some great purple cauliflower to sow too. Towards the end of the month it will be time to sow Florence fennel seeds too. These delicious bulbs cost so much in the shops, so I’m hoping to grow them at the plot successfully and save myself a few quid.
A lot of the jobs for this month are related to keeping the crops growing. So weeding, watering, mulching and general maintenance of the plants will be a key job. The warm weather we’re due means it’s time to plant out the ever increasing squashes and courgettes. I’ve prepared the soil already, but will add a bit more organic matter before planting them out. Hopefully, we’ll be enjoying a plentiful supply of courgettes and winter squash well into the latter part of the year. In addition, we have discovered a big leak in our pond which means that most of the water has drained out. The newts and a few tadpoles seem to be happy enough in the remaining concentrated soup of a pond, but I think if we can reline the pond all will be a lot happier! Any ideas on a cheap way to get a suitable pond liner?
This post is contributing to The Garden Share Collective; an international group of bloggers who share their vegetable patches, container gardens and the herbs they grow on their window sills.