May 2023

What a mighty busy time it is in our garden!  I have a whole lot of seedlings ready to be planted and while cucumbers, pumpkins and sweetcorn could go in at the end of the month, ours are ready to go in now!

This year I have one big bed ready for zucchini, cucumber, sweetcorn and pumpkins.  It’s the bed that had lupins in it during the winter. I planted the zucchini a month ago, thinking I would get a head start, but look how tiny it is – it would probably be bigger if it were planted now.  Just a little reminder to not get too impatient!

I forked the bed over to aerate it, then added vermicast out of the worm farm, chicken manure, rock dust, a little bit of humate I had left, and some compost. 

I usually work it all in with a fork in a wig-wag fashion.  I made sure there was a bit more chicken manure where the sweetcorn were going, as they need really rich soil to produce optimally. The sweetcorn is going in front of the pumpkin, to see if I can avoid the pumpkin getting sunburnt this year.  We have had to eat up our pumpkin quickly on harvesting in the past, as the pumpkin rots where the sunburn is, once it’s stored.  It’s a good idea to put a stick where the pumpkin and cucumber go, as they sprawl and you need to know where the roots of the plant are when it comes to watering.

I mulched the bed and netted it while the plants get established.

Next job was the beans.  No nitrogen fertiliser on this bed, instead a couple of handfuls of garden lime to alkalise the soil for this crop.  Hopefully it won’t take too long till they reach the screen and can start climbing with assistance.

The eggplants are sharing their space temporarily with a beautiful cauliflower which just needs a few more days to get to the perfect maturity.  When you get a clean cauliflower like this, it is a joy.

Eggplants get the works – aerate the soil with a fork, then add chicken manure, rock dust and compost.  Mulching and netting follows planting and watering in.

And so too do the capsicums.

Our potatoes have needed attention.  I’ve hilled them up as much as I can.  There are now nice mounds of soil over the seed potatoes for the new potatoes to grow in.  The mounds of soil there originally are now troughs.

You can see how big the Jersey Bennes are.  They are leggy, so I’ve used straw to prop them up so the stems don’t get broken off in the wind.

And I hadn’t tied up our tomatoes yet, so went out to do that, but as they were growing so well I got a bit itchy to do some initial delateralling.  It’s easier to see where to take laterals off when they’re smaller, so I started.  Then, and this is the tip (!), remember it’s a good idea with these heirloom indeterminate tomatoes to encourage two leaders.  As our plants are relatively small, I wasn’t thinking TWO leaders when I started, so a couple of them might end up with only one!  If this is all a bit confusing, have a look at our video on delateralling.  BUT, we will cover it in more detail when the plants are bigger.  Suffice to say, simply tying up at this stage is fine. 

And lastly, if some of your leafy greens are bolting (going to seed)… 

… they may have needed more frequent watering now that it’s warmer and drier; they may have done their dash and need replacing; they may have needed some feeding up if they’ve been in the ground for a while. Ideas to keep in mind for the next crop. You can keep them going for a bit longer by nipping out the flowers, but ultimately, you need to sow some more seeds!


Happy gardening!

Jan and Rob