Posted by Wayne Robinson
May Monthly Growing Guide

Summer feels like it’s nearly here. Long sleeved winter clothing swapped for shorter ones. And the planting out frenzy begins. But keep in mind Mr frost hasn’t left yet, have protective fleece and cloches at hand; for overnight conditions may suddenly strike.

May job list


Although seed sowing indoors is now to a minimal, make note of varieties that can be succession sown, especially Lettuce varieties, if slug pest is an issue.


All potted on Tomato and Tomatillo plants can be moved into the coldframe to start the process of hardening off. Indoor growing varieties of Cucumber will need support of netting tied to bamboo canes. Whereas growing tomato plants in greenhouses will require a more robust framework to support the plants when heavy with fruit.

Over a 2 week period, coldframe lids should be kept wide open during the day and closed at night in order to climatise to outdoor growing conditions 

What to grow in May


There is a lot to sow this month and with many crops they can be sown successional so that you get fresh harvests over an extended period.

Do not delay in thinning out direct sown varieties like Beetroot, Carrot and Parsnip varieties. Ground that was prepared and brought to a good tilth earlier in spring should be applied with a slow release organic fertiliser and planting out can begin. Brassica varieties of Cabbages and collards are some of the first to be planted out, and protection placed to deter slugs and bird pest.

Direct sowing of Turnip and Radish should be given protection against flea beetle too.

Keep earthing up soil around the first and second early varieties of potato plants and preparing the ground for main crop to join the early varieties.

Pest like black fly will be descending on young Broad Bean plants. Remove soft tips to minimise problem. Wash down with spray of water or use organic pesticide.

Cane fruit such as raspberry should be applied with a potassium rich fertiliser. Weeding around all soft fruit shrubs and applied with mulch to boost growth and fruit production.

General tasks:

Look for all signs of pest attack on all susceptible plants. As the young plants are still establishing, water them in well, always aiming water spout to the base of the plant.

Annual weed will start to make an appearance. Keep on top of this job, to minimise weeds taking over the growing space.