WHAT TO DO WITH YOUR GARDEN IN MAY
- Erect supports for climbing vegetables, using tall canes.
- Watch out for signs of powdery mildew on fruit trees and bushes.
- Ventilate your greenhouse or tunnel during the day but close vents in the evening.
- Feed all your young plants with a solution of liquid fertilizer.
- Now is the correct time to sow seeds outdoors, direct into the ground.
Plants of Interest
The thorn family
If you have been driving around the county this week, you have probably noticed how beautiful it’s looking now. The may bush is at its most fantastic. Let’s hope we preserve it as it takes maybe two generation to establish. Whitethorn makes an excellent stock proof hedge and is quite easy to grow. Might be a little drab on its own around your home, but if you mix in a little bit of beech, native holly, and the odd shrub rose you will have a natural easy to maintain beautiful hedge with interest all year round. If you want a really hardy tree for your garden plant the red thorn (Crataegus Paul Scarlet), the more obscure Crataegus Prunifolia with its white flowers followed by large red berries, is well worth seeking out. The whitethorn tree will suit town or country gardens as it is slow growing and responds well to pruning if necessary. They will grow in any well-drained soil, and will take exposure and wind in their stride. Under plant with bluebells when the time is right.
If you haven’t been out the country, do go for a drive this weekend and admire our whitethorn and beech which are looking their best.
Unusual bits - How to start growing your lunch (Asparagus)
Now is the time for asparagus but before you can easily these tasty spears you have a two to three-year wait, depending on whether you plant from seed or crowns. Seed should be sown now, but you can also buy one-year-old crowns in pots. Given the right location and soil type asparagus will produce a very tasty crop for twenty to twenty-five years, but you must get the following right. Asparagus require a deep, free draining weed free soil. Apply a light dressing of growmore fertilizer when planting and it will enjoy a good top dressing of well-rotted manure in winter. Old gardeners used to even give them a sprinkle of salt, but I wonder?
Asparagus does not like acid soils, so you may need to apply lime, make sure its garden lime though not building lime. Do not be tempted to cut the ferny foliage for flower arranging, as you reduce your crop for the following season. You must leave the crop till the third year before harvesting and there after all you need to do is keep them weed free, give them a feed in spring, cut them back in late autumn to just above ground level. Enjoy for years!