In the veg plot

It’s Garden Share Collective time…and a cold, chilly start to May. There’s a frost forecast for this weekend, in fact. Luckily, we’re behind (as usual), and haven’t planted the potatoes out yet, so they are still safe ‘chitting’ in their egg-boxes on top of a cupboard. In the spirit of the Garden Share, we’re asked to give a little update on what we’re harvesting now, what we’re planting, and what jobs need doing for the month.

Harvesting now: Still not too much, but we do have the very last bits of spinach and chard (both growing like crazy as they run to seed), masses of rhubarb, and plenty of herbs.

Rosemary flowers - loved by bees

Rosemary flowers – loved by bees

I’ve planted out sweet peas and the first row of mangetout. The pea sticks (bits of apple tree we pruned earlier in the year) are there for the mangetout to climb up – and to help deter the pigeons. The plastic bottles make great, free protectors for young plants – they keep off the pigeons and the blackbirds.

Home-made plant protectors

Home-made plant protectors

The seedlings I haven’t made protectors for yet have all been pecked or gnawed by something…Still, today my little boy made me this great scare-crow (scare-bottle?) – filled with water to weight it down.


Be afraid...

Be afraid…

I have spinach, lettuce, pak choi, basil, coriander and fennel seedlings in modules, just waiting to get a little bigger. I find it much easier to grow veg plants to a decent size in modules before planting them out – they seem to cope with the attentions of the slugs and the birds much better that way.

Chard, salad and pak choi

Chard, salad and pak choi

Baby fennel

Baby fennel

I have one little perennial polyculture patch that’s coming along nicely – a salad burnet in the middle, with some alpine strawberries and calendula around it. The calendula were planted last year and have just kept going – they’re flowering already.

Perennials doing their thing

Perennials doing their thing



Alpine strawberry flowers

Alpine strawberry flowers

I’m not harvesting much from this little patch – a few bits of cucumber-tasting salad burnet leaves and some calendula (just for “the pretty”). But that’s not bad considering that I haven’t touched this patch at all since last summer. It’s just there, doing it’s thing. Feels way easier than all the sowing, transplanting and planting out going on with the annual veg.

The tulips I planted many weeks late are just starting to flower – a good reminder that, even if things don’t get planted at just the right times, its often still worth a go.

Late-planted tulips - they made it!

Late-planted tulips – they made it!

And it looks like it might just be a good year for apples….fingers crossed.

Yay for apple blossom!

Yay for apple blossom!

Jobs to do in May: I have many more seeds to sow – courgettes, sweetcorn, pumpkins and squash can go into modules now. If I sow them much earlier, they get all sad and leggy before the weather is warm enough to plant them out.

So what’s new with you? I hope all is well in everyone’s gardens – and if you a mo, do have a look at some of the Garden Share blogs. It’s fascinating to see what’s growing around the world.




14 responses to “In the veg plot

    • Wow, your own olives…that’s very cool. I have a rather feeble little olive tree in a pot, it just about clings on to life each winter. It has very pretty leaves, but I think an olive crop is out of the question!

  1. I enjoyed your post, now I have my new veggie beds at last, I am really interested to see what all the veggie bloggers are doing. I have sown my courgettes and sweet corn in the greenhouse, now I’ m worried that it may be to soon. I find it a problem knowing when to sow things, often I leave it too late. I like the idea of poly culture, mixing things together seems a good way to confuse the pests.

    • Thank you…exciting you have new veggie beds, I will visit your blog to see how things are going! I don’t have a greenhouse/polytunnel yet, so if I sow things too early, I end up with lots of ‘leggy’ plants crowding the windowsills. I should in a greenhouse, they will be totally fine. I’m still really just starting to learn about polycultures – it’s been interesting to experiment!

  2. Pingback: Garden Share Collective : May 2014·

  3. I dug the last trenches for potatoes today. We are trying to be fossil-fuel free in the garden, so no rototilling. Just shovel work. That’s okay, it’s good the keep the muscles working, but it does take a while. We started the squash in the greenhouse. My wife does that. Her husband must now spade up the squash bed.
    Tell you son that is indeed a scary scare-crow. It would scare me away. 🙂

    • I’ll tell him! : )

      I love the idea of a fossil-fuel free garden…I don’t rototil either (aka rotivating here in the UK), so I know what you mean about the shovel work! Still, it must be good for me…

  4. There’s been lots of blossom this year – and lots of solitary bees too, so let’s hope they’ve been doing their job and there will be plenty of fruit to come. I like your plant protectors made from plastic bottles. A really good idea – recycling and saving money.

    • Thank you! I wasn’t sure what to call them – ‘cloche’ seemed a bit grand for bits of cut up plastic bottle! They seem to be helping, tho they did blow around the veg plot during the recent high winds…

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