May is one of the busiest months on the allotment as the days continue to lengthen and grow warmer.There are lots of jobs to do including sowing the last of the summer crops.Listed below are flower, vegetable and herb varieties that are great to start planting in May.
You can plant both bush and pole beans now that the soil and air are warmed up as beans should not be started indoors. Try a continual 7-10 day sowing of different varieties. This will give you an abundance of bean crops and not one large harvest with wasted crop.
Start planting both bush and pole beans now that the soil and air are warmed up. Plant your bush beans in succession, sowing a row or bed followed by another sowing a week to 10 days later. This way your bean plants will have staggered, easy to manage harvests. Planting pole beans and bush beans at the same time is another good strategy, as the bush beans will fruit, then finish bearing just as the pole beans come on.
If you do have an abundance of snap beans, freeze some for later use. They need a quick 2-3 minute blanching in a boiling water bath; then you can put them up in convenient zip lock freezer bags for winter meals.
Besides serving freshly steamed snap beans, I like to precook them quickly in a large amount of boiling water, and chill in a cold water bath. Then I take the still slightly crunchy pods and marinate them in a mild mustardy vinaigrette. These delicious savory beans are great in any salad. For a super lunch, pair them with cubes of feta cheese, quartered, juicy ripe tomatoes, Greek olives and chunks of albacore tuna!
Cucumbers can be directly sowed or transplanted after three weeks. Cucumbers can take up a lot of space so be careful to pick a variety for the space you have in your garden.
Plant seeds directly in rows or hills two weeks after the last spring frost. Seeds can sprout within five days. If you started the cucumbers inside, transplant seedlings after they are 3 weeks old and after the last spring frost. Space the cucumber rows or hills 6 feet apart, as cucumbers can take up lots of space.
Water prior to placing the seeds, and plant the seeds 1/2-inch-deep and 6 inches apart. Once seedlings grow three leaves, thin them to 12 inches apart. For gardeners who rotate their crops, plant cucumbers in the same place where Cole crops grew the year before.
Summer Squash :
Sow summer squash now in May so that you will fresh and tasty squash and zucchini for July!
Squash grow well in mounds, so hill up some soil and plant three to five seeds per mound. plant seeds 1 inch deep in mounds set 4 feet apart after all danger of frost has passed. Squash can be started indoors three to four weeks before the last frost date. Squash also grow well in pots or buckets. A 5- or 10-gallon bucket is large enough.
Once seedlings occur, thin to two or three per mound. Squash grow best in full sun so, if possible, plant on a south or southeast facing slope. Water at least 1 inch a week. Squash do best when in soil with a pH of 6.0 to 6.7. TO deter weeds, a light layer of mulch can be applied but squash is a sprawling plant that usually doesn’t fall victim to weeds. Mulching also can help retain moisture.
We hope you can enjoy delicious harvests!