Wednesday, June 7, 2017

May 2017 garden recap

Photo of a block of young celery plants in a garden bed
Celery in its trench in Roots bed (herb bed behind)

I've harvested a couple garlic bulbs now:  both good size.  I'll probably get all the rest in June and cure for storage;  some will go for eating, some will go for planting in October/November.  The shallots in this bed are flowering and look fantastic above ground, but I didn't tried pulling any yet to check their bulb growth.  I think they are meant to be harvested once they die down;  they aren't even close, unlike the garlic.

Still no evidence of parsnip.  A few beets growing, and more beet seed sown in May.  I put down some coffee grounds on top of the rows after sowing to deflect slugs, although it looks as though it needs topping up again after a few rain showers.

Onions in clusters looking happy and strong, though still small.  Celery planted out in a trench at the end of May, growing well.

Peas and beans

Starting picking broad beans at last!  More to come.  The spring sown plants are much bigger than the autumn sown ones, and seem to have formed their pods pretty much at the same time, though the autumn sown ones flowered first. 

The first batch of early peas flowered quickly and is now covered in tiny pods, with some flowers yet to come.  Mange tout peas also just started forming at the end of May, but none harvested this month.  Maincrop peas just beginning to flower at the end of May.

Sowed pre-sprouted French beans and runner beans towards the end of May, and French beans began popping up, though no runner beans yet.

Second batches of early and maincrop peas still short and not doing much (we had an unusually warm and dry May, which may have affected their growth).


Of the seven original cauliflowers, three are looking leafy and healthy, and one is still clinging on;  the others disappeared completely.  Summer cabbages in the holding bed are growing quickly, as are the broccoli and Brussels sprouts seedlings.  There seem to be two winter cabbages still in last year's Brassicas bed (this year's Misc bed), which were hiding under the sprouting broccoli.  I cleared away the sprouting broccoli in May and suddenly those cabbages have started into action.

I sowed trays of more winter cabbage, kale, and sprouting broccoli in May, all intended for winter/spring eating.


With the last of the spring sprouting broccoli cleared away from the Misc bed, I now have a nice clear space for planting out.  However, the tender plants (tomatoes, squashes, etc) stayed in my kitchen window for the month, waiting until the middle of June to plant out. 

Chard transplanted earlier growing well, as are half the leeks (the other half are in the holding bed, probably to be planted out in late summer).  The spring sown shallots are not as advanced as the autumn sown ones in the Roots bed. 

Lettuces sown early in the year still producing (cut and come again types), but later sowings keep disappearing, even in trays up on the patio table. 


Potato plants growing huge (mid-thigh height) and some forming flowers already!  Just letting them get on with it, and not planning on digging them up till autumn (or till they die back).


Fruit growing well but sparsely on:  plum, sweet cherry, both apples, fig.

Fruit more abundant on sour cherry, but tree looks a little stressed;  it was moved over winter, and May has been a dry month, considering.  Lots of nuts on almond tree.

Lots and lots of berries on redcurrant and blackcurrants.  Modest amounts on the few strawberries and alpine strawberries, gooseberries, raspberries, blueberry.

No fruit on Williams or Asian pears.

The seven year old helped me drape bird nets over both cherry trees (both are about as tall as me) and the redcurrant (nearly tall as me).  I netted the strawberries on my own (ran out of netting so did it DIY style).

Perennials and herbs

This year's artichokes from crowns began putting out good growth in May, at last.  However, the two rhubarb both look very sad--too hot, maybe?  The one forced into growth earlier in the year looks almost dead.

Asparagus from seed sprouted up but very small and spindly (pre-sprouted it, then sowed it in a bed with annual lupins).  Lots of sorrel growth.

Rosemary has had some die-back, but hopefully will continue growing.  Lots of chive, chervil, thyme growth.  Sage looks like it's died (rotten birds!).  Mint, parsley, tarragon and bergamot growing well.  Dill (in a pot) small but growing.  Still no sign of summer savory, sown in a pot.

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