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3 May 2013

May Tasks for the Vegetable Gardener

There should be plenty to keep us busy in May, now that the soil is warming up, but look out for the occasional overnight frost and keep some fleece handy to protect your most vulnerable plants.

You may have winter cauliflowers, sprouting broccoli, kale and spring cabbage ready to harvest and possibly some early salad crops.

With the warmer weather come the weeds and you need to get on top of them now to make life easier later.

Early potatoes may need earthing-up. I have some growing in bags which have already needed attention.

Depending on what you have sown you may need to thin out some of your seedlings to give the others room to develop.

There are plenty of crops to plant in May, some of which you may want to make successionally sowings of to give fresh vegetables over a longer period. Give your seed drill a good soaking before sowing if the weather has been dry.

Beans - French and Runner - Leave until later in the month unless protected by cloches or fleece.
Beetroot
Broccoli
Cabbage
Cauliflowers
Kale
Lettuce
Peas
Radishes
Rocket
Spring Onions
Swedes
Turnips

Sweetcorn, Courgettes, Marrows and Pumpkins will benefit from starting undercover in pots.

Brussels sprouts, Summer cabbages, Celery and Leeks can be planted out if they are big enough. Leeks should be roughly the thickness of a pencil.

Greenhouse-raised plants such as Aubergines, Tomatoes, Cucumbers and Peppers will be ready for transplanting into their final site, whether a large pot, growbag or border.

Keep a look-out for slugs and snails before they do any damage to your seedlings.

Keep your carrots covered with horticultural fleece, ensuring that the edges are buried, to prevent the carrot root fly from gaining access to your crop.

That should be enough to keep you occupied until next month!

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