Friday, 30 April 2010

May Jobs on the allotment

  • Plant out Brussel Sprouts, summer and winter cabbage.
  • Sow in pots sweet corn for planting out in June.
  • Sow climbing, dwarf and runner beans directly in the ground. As plants begin to grow, train shoots around canes.
  • Sow cucumber, marrow, and melons in gentle heat.
  • Sow Courgette seeds in pots from now until the end of May. Place pots in a heated propagator or on a sunny windowsill and water well. It does not matter if the seeds are sown on their sides or flat, contrary to Old Wives Tales.
  • Prick out your newly emerged seedlings and pot on to encourage healthy growth before you transplant them outside.
  • Sow short rows of lettuce fortnightly.
  • Tomato plants that have been raised under glass can be planted outside in warmer areas. Make sure to harden plants off first.
  • Transplant pencil thick leeks into final position.
  • Control slugs and snails.
  • Plant bought in Celery seedlings from now until June in a sunny spot. The crop will grow best if planted in a grid.
  • To get a regular supply of beetroot, sow a row every month. If space is short, you can sow them in a pot. If the seedlings you sowed earlier are overcrowded, thin them out. The leaves can be used in salads.
  • The main threat to your crop is carrot fly. Reduce the risk of an attack by thinning plants and placing a shield around your seedlings.
  • Pinch out side shoots and tendrils from cordon grown sweet peas.        
  • Untie and retrain branches of wall-trained figs that have been bundled together for protection, prune as necessary.
  • Pick protected strawberries and gooseberry thinnings.
  • Open one side of fruit cage to allow entry for pollinating insects.
  • Protect blossoms from frosts.
  • Mow grass around trees.
  • Water well after flowering plants especially stone fruits.
  • Ring bark over vigorous apple and pear trees.
  • De-blossom newly planted trees.
  • Late May remove the polythene cover from wall-trained peaches and nectarines
  • Remove unwanted shoots from raspberries.
  • Thin gooseberries in late may if large fruits required.
  • Never use insecticides during flowering, may kill pollinating insects.
  • Continue control against pear scab.
  • Start netting all fruit at the first sign of ripening.
  • Look to start spraying against Pests and Diseases.
  • Put straw around strawberries. Deter slugs use slug pellets. Minimize risk of bird damage use netting.

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