May in the Garden Smallholding

 

May has been another dry and hot month in the main, watering continues to be a chore and a must. It has also been a rather busy month for planting, potting on and sowing, with the occasional harvest. Certain crops have excelled in the unseasonal heat whereas others have struggled a little. Chillies, cucumber and tomatoes have been particularly happy in the soaring temperatures, I have tomatoes almost ready for picking in the greenhouse and small chillies and cucumbers forming already.

Leaf miner insects have been a problem on my beets and chard, I check the underside of the leaves daily and rub the tiny white eggs off. Not so much of a problem with the beets, but the chard is not very appealing to say the least. The fruit garden has been a bit hit and miss, gooseberries are doing brilliantly in their new shady spot while the strawbs and summer raspberries have resented the lack of rainfall. I will have fruit to pick but not nearly as much as I had hoped. I’m continuing to sow carrots, beets and radish at weekly intervals to avoid a glut. I began harvesting peas this month, they’re coming along well, producing lots of big pods.

I think my favourite part of May goes to sowing beans. There is something quite satisfying about sowing bean seed, perhaps it’s the colours and patterns? Some of them (such as dwarf bean) are so pretty. Beans don’t take very long to germinate provided they are watered enough and placed in a warm spot, runners grow so fast you really have to keep an eye on them.

Charlotte potatoes are in flower now, the haulms are not nearly as tall as last years. I’ve stopped pulling rhubarb this month, a little earlier than I would have liked but I feel the whole plant needs to rest, it suffered a bit with the heat. The herb garden is looking lovely, the green and bronze fennel really steal the limelight, soaring high above the other herbs with their dainty foliage dancing in the slightest breeze. Chives have flowered profusely this year, they really are happier in the ground rather than in a pot. After waiting more than a month for the asparagus seeds to do anything, only 6 germinated out of a possible 18. Needless to say, I will be nurturing these little feathery fronds for some time to come!

I also started sowing squashes this month, I’m quite excited about the pumpkins this year because I have oodles of space at the allotment for them. Hopefully I will have a few to use for Samhain / Halloween celebrations. I have spent quite a bit of time at the allotment lately, I’m writing another blog to keep a record of my achievements and failures.It’s due for updating soon so I must get my skates on. If you fancy a peek into my first year allotmenteering, or would like to follow my progress on a regular basis, you can find my blog Allotment Plot 4 here http://allotmentplot4.wordpress.com 

Don’t forget to leave me a comment so I know you’ve stopped by!

Meteor Peas in Flower

I’m growing Meteor peas which can be autumn or spring sown, after a disastrous attempt at autumn sowing I decided to wait until March before direct sowing again. This time germination was a success, the plants are romping away and flowering already but my joy has quickly turned to dread because of a pest called Pea Moth. Pea flowers are self pollinating so I’m keeping my peas covered with fleece –  just in case the gorgeous weather we’ve been blessed with encourages pea moths to emerge earlier than usual. 

I have disturbing visions of eagerly opening up a pod only to be met with nibbled peas and caterpillar poo!