What to do and plant in your veggie & food garden in May:
If you have grown pumpkins and other squash then mature fruits should be picked. The fruit should sound hollow when knocked. If you have experienced problems with fruit fly then next season try covering fruit with paper or fabric bags tide on gently to prevent fruit flies from stinging fruit. Remove all flowers and undeveloped fruit from summer vegetables to speed up the ripening process of almost-ripe fruit and to also encourage plants to maybe pop out a little more fruits for you. You need to water well to encourage this but please note that this must be done in mornings as plants do not want to go to bed with wet feet. Tomatoes may need to be sprayed with fungicide to treat and prevent blight. Please also see our Facebook post on using aspirins to prevent blight and other tomato problems. Feed all veggies to strengthen them before winter comes. This is important particularly for brassicas like cabbages, broccoli’s and cauliflower. Baby greens and microgreens are especially fashionable and a way to grow these that will not cost you much money is to use your vegetable tops instead of throwing them away. Vegetables like turnips, beetroot, radishes and carrots can all be grown in shallow trays filled with water on a windowsill. You can harvest the small leaves for a while as baby greens and then this can later be planted into the ground as root crop again. If you have sweet potatoes growing, then now is the time to harvest them. This is the time of the year to divide chives and garden chives. If your veggie garden is currently in quite a lot of shade a lot of veggies can be grown in other parts of your garden between other plants as long as they are not being sprayed with poisons.
In regards to fruiting plants, ripening citrus should be picked, as well as the last apples and pears. Citrus trees actually require regular feeding and should be fertilised four times a year so if you have not already fed them then give them one good feeding before winter. Mid-autumn is a great time of the year to plant fruit trees as well as repot fruit trees in containers to ensure that they are settled for new spring growth. In our March blog we spoke about preparing your garden for strawberry planting. If your patch is not prepared yet, then prepare with ample compost and bone meal. Plant runners from mother plants or plant new young plants. Strawberries also do extremely well planted in hanging baskets and retaining blocks. In June and July deciduous fruit trees need to be pruned if you are planning on doing this. Start planning for this, as there is a science to pruning fruiting trees and if you do it incorrectly it can effect fruiting of the trees as well as lead to crop failures.
Examples of vegetables which can be sown and planted in May are broad beans, beetroot, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, celery, leeks, lettuce, onions, parsnip, garden peas, radish, swiss chard, oriental veggies, mustard, kale, kohlrabi. This also the last month we would recommend for carrot sowing before spring planting again.