The busiest of months | The Voice of the Allotment

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In Barry Cuff’s report from May, early sowings of some veg failed, while broad beans, cabbages and potatoes flourished – rain is eagerly awaited.

May is one of the busiest months on our allotment. The weather was generally kind with no frosts. About two inches of rain fell in the first week and then dry weather set in. There were some quite cold nights, with the wind during the day coming from a northerly direction, but there was plenty of sun.
As it was the vegetables high on the agenda this month, I’ve listed all that we did by vegetable!

Beetroot
Our two early sowings failed to produce any seedlings. More were sown on 23rd.
Broad beans
All are in full flower with no sign of blackfly. To hasten pod set, the tops were pinched out.
Brussel sprouts
We planted these out from plug trays on 15th.
Cabbages
Both red and white were planted out in April and are doing well – we fed with liquid seaweed.
Carrot
As with the beetroot, the two early sowings failed and more were sown on 23rd (maybe the soil was too cold?).
Cauliflower
On 8th and 15th we sowed Fargo, Cheesy, Snow Prince and Cendis in plug trays. These should give a supply of curds from September to January.
Celery and celeriac
The seeds sown in April have now produced some healthy seedlings ready to plant out in June.
Courgettes and squashes
These were all sown individually into small pots on the 1st and are now ready to plant out.
Early purple sprouting broccoli
Sown in plug trays on the 8th.
French beans
These were doing well, planted out from pots on 26th.
Leeks
The two large pots sown in April are now looking well despite a surprise attack from either a bird or a Squirrel!
Lettuce
We are already picking our first sown, and continue making new sowings each month.
Mangetout peas
Sown on the 15th and now emerging well.
Onions and spring onions
Sown in small plugs in March, these were all planted out on 2nd, with one to three seedlings per station.
Our first spring onions were pulled on 21st!
Parsnips
With very little sign of any seedlings, more were sown (parsnips can take up to 28 days to germinate so it’s possible I should be more patient …).
Peas
Two lines were sown in April, and another two in May. There’s been some weevil attack but generally looking good. They’re well protected from pigeons this year!
Potatoes
So far they’re looking exceptionally well (see image above). Have already needed to water the earlies (Maris Bard).
Radish
Successional sowings are already providing us with tasty roots for our salads.
Runner beans
Canes erected and we planted out from pots on 20th.
Sweetcorn
We planted out 30 plants on 26th of the month, with more to be planted out later.
Now all we desperately need is some good warm rain!

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