Update May 2015

After the wonderful April we had in the south of England (see blog published April 27th), the month of May became a bit of a disappointment; the seeds germinated in the greenhouse, but slowly, I can't say they burst into life with vigour, they were more akin to a teenager waking up on a morning; they sort of scratched their heads, looked around bleary eyed and went, whatever... May feels as if it has been more like March rather than almost summer and the last few days did see dreadfully high winds and hard rain.

Anyway, the potatoes are all up – no misses despite what my friend in the allotments said about being late (see blog); they look healthy, and are hoed up.

Kohl Rabi, Beets, Carrots are all doing well, the Broad Beans are being very difficult this year, on a positive note, they have decided to grow, but only slowly. I have not managed to get any dwarf or Borlotti beans to germinate yet, the runners and climbing French beans in the greenhouse have germinated, in fact I have put the runners into the trench. The trench, now that's another issue, over the winter, my trench sustained severe damage, with most of the uprights being snapped off – friends say it was storm damage – I'm not so sure.

In an effort to get the seedlings established, I took advantage of a couple of sunny days to plant out a lot of my "Italian Garden", the Courgettes, Tomatoes, Aubergines and Italian Lettuces are more or less planted out along with a couple of rows of Borlotti beans and 25 Sweet Corn, all of them have just say survived the last few days of cold windy weather, but I did feel sorry for them. The more vulnerable plants have been protected using the old plastic bottle trick of cutting the bottom off and placing over the plant. I am, once again trying my hand with Fennel, the last time I grew it, the bulbs became infested with Earwigs I therefore ended up composting them.

Onions and Garlic are all doing well and the fruit cage has gone crazy; the Red and Black currants are at risk of snapping the stems, the Gooseberries are doing ok too, I may add some Potash round the roots, they like that. This year I plan to make some Cassis with the Black Currants, we do like a Kir aperitif at times; I will put the recipe on the website when I make it. We have had several Rhubarb crumbles courtesy of the two plants in the allotments.

The Grape Vine is looking good, it's just forming flowers and the Cherry Tree has a lot more Cherries on it this year, I might get more than the two I got last year.

The Leeks, Sprouts, Cabbage, Kale, Broccoli and Cauliflower plants are all looking strong, they will go in once I have returned from my regular summer holiday to Italy which I am looking forward to.

I think that's about all for May.

May 2015 photos


Click on a photo to enlarge it


Italian lettuce selection


Plastic bottle trick