In The Garden

May 2023

Wow, we put up a polytunnel! Thank you to Rolls Royces who built the frame and all the volunteers who made it to help put the plastic coverage on – your help is really appreciated!

Growing update: As the weather continues to warm up, May is a crucial month in the UK growing season because it offers the best conditions for plants to thrive. Increased soil temperature promotes faster seed germination and greater root development whilst still getting some much-needed rain.

Summer veggies including tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers are best planted out now. Planting fruit bushes like blackberries and raspberries as well as herbs like basil and mint by gardeners is another option – although we planted out new raspberry bushes in April. Now that we have a polytunnel at the farm it’s going to be an interesting learning curve figuring out what we can grow in there too.

May is a good time to start weeding and controlling pests, as well as mulching the soil to keep it moist. Although we use no-dig gardening, we also use a lot of animal manure which naturally holds a fair amount of weed seeds, keeping on top of weeding is a must. Adding woodchip and straw to the ground is a good way to mulch around plants and help suppress weeds.

May offers the ideal conditions for gardeners to enjoy the fruits of their labour and a plentiful harvest with the correct care and attention.

Allotment tasks and what to sow in:

Allotment gardening tasks for May can include:

  • Planting summer vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers.
  • Planting fruit bushes like raspberries, blackberries, and currants.
  • Planting herbs like basil, mint, and chives.
  • Weeding and controlling pests and diseases.
  • Mulching the soil to retain moisture and suppress weeds.
  • Watering plants regularly and ensuring adequate irrigation.
  • Checking and repairing fences, gates, and raised beds.
  • Harvesting early crops like lettuce, peas, and spinach.