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May 14, 2023
Spring unfolds to summer, May’s second half

May’s second half has so much potential for new plantings and harvests. No dig makes it easier because as gross speeds up, we have less time to deal with weeds. And if you have been keeping up with removing the odd few perennials, and hoeing new germinations when they’re very small, this should not be too difficult.

Please see my latest newsletter for gardening ideas as summer approaches.

It’s an exciting time. And my Spacings video has ideas for inter-planting.

Before your summer plantings of tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, aubergines, melons and so forth, it's a good time to spread the annual dose of compost. This year we used the contents of last year's hotbed, so that's one year old horse manure. With a little mushroom compost on top, and some green waste compost on the paths.
Before your summer plantings of tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, aubergines, melons and so forth, it’s a good time to spread the annual dose of compost. This year we used the contents of last year’s hotbed, so that’s one year old horse manure. With a little mushroom compost on top, and some green waste compost on the paths.
Garlic is growing strongly. At this time last year we started losing green leaves to the orange spots of rust. There is not too much rust at present, but it is spreading The first photo shows interplants of coriander. When garlic is spaced in rows like this, you can intersow or interplant many vegetables, see my new video.
Garlic is growing strongly. At this time last year we started losing green leaves to the orange spots of rust. There is not too much rust at present, but it is spreading The first photo shows interplants of coriander. When garlic is spaced in rows like this, you can intersow or interplant many vegetables, see my new video.
This is an experiment to see how it can work with early planting of tomatoes outside and with fleece over. We shall put stakes in, in about a week, after removing the fleece - this is in the small garden
This is an experiment to see how it can work with early planting of tomatoes outside and with fleece over. We shall put stakes in, in about a week, after removing the fleece – this is in the small garden

Pests

As with the word weeds, this is a relative term description. For most of us however, slugs can be highly destructive and my recommendation is to reduce any places where they can hide in dry conditions. That becomes the base, for foraging in the Dumpert conditions at night.

I have noticed some slug damage, for example to the turnips below. I had harvested one of the four and there was a slug in the hole. See my webpage about coping with slugs.
The second photo has radish with leaves eaten by flea beetles, even though they were growing under mesh. That cover is quite old and had too many holes. Flea beetles love small brassica leaves. That’s why I do not sow any salad rocket, mizuna or pak choi until August.

Wild rocket is prolific in May. Below is Athena, sown September in a tray in the greenhouse, then pricked into CD small module cells then potted to 9cm pots in November, still in the greenhouse. We planted it outside late February and this is one plant! Spacing is 30cm, there is a fine mesh cover against flea beetle and we keep cutting until July.
Wild rocket is prolific in May. This is Athena, sown September in a tray in the greenhouse, then pricked into my CD small module cells, then potted to 9cm pots in November, still in the greenhouse. We planted it outside late February and this is one plant! Spacing is 30cm, there is a fine mesh cover against flea beetle and we keep cutting until July.
Multisown turnips and one of the four harvested has left a hole, ideal for the slug!
Multisown turnips and one of the four harvested has left a hole, ideal for the slug!
Typical flea beetle damage on young brassica leaves, many small holes and often perfectly round
Typical flea beetle damage on young brassica leaves, many small holes and often perfectly round

Mid May at Homeacres

Misty May morning, my trial beds are on the left and the no dig one nearest is looking strong, compared to dig on its left. There is not a lot of space for the many new plantings soon happening.
Misty May morning, my trial beds are on the left and the no dig one nearest is looking strong, compared to dig on its left. There is not a lot of space for the many new plantings soon happening.
Charlotte potatoes have been in for one month and they are from homesaved seed. We shall pull compost around them this week in case of ground frost. Behind is rye sown last October, for making bread!
Charlotte potatoes have been in for one month and they are from homesaved seed. We shall pull compost around them this week in case of ground frost. Behind is rye sown last October, for making bread!
An interplant of spring onion between celeriac, with the onions coming ready before celeriac need all the space. They are under thermacrop for protection from rabbits.
An interplant of spring onion between celeriac, with the onions coming ready before celeriac need all the space. They are under thermacrop for protection from rabbits.
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