10 Jobs for May
Spring is definitely here. Most seeds sown now will germinate fairly quickly and frost tender plants can go out at the end of the month.
- Sow Runner Beans either in cold frame or direct in your prepared bean trench
- Sow Sweetcorn in modules or toilet roll tubes in coldframe
- Sow French Beans directly into the soil
- Harden off Tomatoes and plant out at the end of the month in good rich soil
- Sow cucumber and gherkins in the cold frame or greenhouse
- Plant out Brussels Sprouts but use the ground in between them for a catch crop of cauliflower or cabbage
- Carry on sowing successional crops such as lettuce, radish, rocket, spring onions, peas etc, every two weeks
- Thin Carrot and Beetroot sowings
- Net Strawberries against bird attack and pack straw around them to discourage slugs and protect fruit from mud splashes
- Keep Onions and Shallots free from weeds
If you have any more suggestions for May jobs, add them to the list.
Top on my list is to keep eating the rhubarb and salad leaves :)
Eating your produce is a year-round activity – so that doesn’t count :)
First off let me say, I enjoy your blog . Thanks! Yours and “The Bifurcated Carrot” are just right reading.
You write of straw used to discourage slugs. Have you tried this yet? For me that would be a cruel joke. Here in Virginia straw is the alleys the slugs lurk in. I have tried saucers of beer. The slugs get drunk & by morning crawl off slapping each other on the back . I encircled strawberries as best I could last year with copper tubing scraps from my husbands shop. That works well. I think it gives them a shock. So the slugs did stay away…but then the squirrels arrived . I trapped a squirrel in a Hav-a- Hart trap in which it promptly had a heart attack. (As I took my grandson to see the ‘nice’ squirrel…).I felt badly and so decided to let the patch be a free for all , though i stopped short of inviting the deer in..whom I talk to often and ask “Please stay in the woods..there is plenty there for you”. They listen! Now however I have been seeing the many flowers and beautiful lime green strawberry fruits , I want to join in the (soon- to-be-not)-free-for-all by throwing down some netting against the squirrels. It will probably be their appetizer , cheeky things that they are. My husband reclaimed the copper. Maybe I will toss around some eggshells (or shards of jagged glass)?
This year I did mulch cabbages & peas & circled them w/ eggshells. Though cold at night it is often really hot in day, I hope to keep them cool. This is what is global warming —>global cooling at same time. That’s a challenge.
Seems best to invite the “good” bugs in to duke it out with the “bad” bugs..(what insect eats a squirrel? I offer them to my neighbors as good eating. Corn fed squirrel! (The chicken’s feed). I have seen ladybugs arrive seemingly moments after the aphids arrive. And “Deadly Nightshade ” makes a great trap crop against our Flea Beetles. The nightshade appeared next to the eggplants and tomatillas and the flea beetles prefer it! Ain’t nature grand!!! Mustard in flower gets the harlequin beetles but I think they come FOR the mustard. Oh well the mustard overwintered and there have been beautiful yellow flowers for months!
Another recommendation often told here is sand used to loosen our clay soil but I have found that this combination creates –CEMENT!
Have fun with Baby! Don’t feel pressured to write in your blog and definitely do not take up jogging with one of those big strollers! The advice of a mom of 6. (and of course you do not have to respond to this ‘war&Peace’ size comment)! Sincerely,Cynthia in Virginia, usa
I’m with Cynthia. I would expect the straw to become home to the slugs, rather than deter them. The straw might help the berries from rotting on the ground though, maybe you just have to try it and see what happens.
Good luck with the garden this year!
hello! I think raising the strawberries off the ground with straw is good for two things: to keep them away from the ground where they are easy fodder for the slugs and to keep them clean. I don’t think the straw necessarily will guarantee to keep your strawberries slug-free but it will certainly deter them.
Has anyone tried Nematoads?
If you use pine needles instead of straw to mulch it will keep the fruit clean and soil moist AND it gives the strawbs the slight acid edge they like AND slugs don’t like it. Its a winner in my garden.