Alex’s Ramblings May 2022

As I write these ramblings we are experiencing our first rainfall for some considerable time. This is most welcome but we will need a lot more to make up the shortfall to date. The forecast for the next couple of weeks is no looking too hopeful and with temperatures forecast to be considerably above average I fear we will have to resort to manual watering. This lack of rainfall at this time seems to becoming the norm so if you haven’t already, maybe it’s time to purchase a water butt or even two. They are easy to install and will last many years. 

Last weekend saw the staging of our annual plant sale. This year we were able to hold it in the Village Hall in an unrestricted environment. It was great to see so many attend and to be able to purchase from an enormous range provided by our members. It was a very warm day and all were able to enjoy a cup of tea/coffee and a piece of cake. It was a joy to be able to do this following the privations of the just two years due to Covid. Proceeds from the day amounted to £530 which is winging its way to Ukraine. Thanks to all those involved in staging the event and to all those who came along and spent freely.

I mentioned in previous ramblings my use of peat free compost in my gardening and although it’s early days I’m a little disappointed with some of the results particularly with seedlings that have been  pricked out. After only a couple of weeks they are a looking quite chlorotic. It is claimed that the compost contains sufficient nutrients for six weeks but the results I’m seeing lead me to doubt this. I shall keep a close eye on the situation and will report back in due course. In the meantime I would be happy to hear of anyone else’s experience with this medium.

Jobs for this month are to continue with successional sowing of vegetables, carrots, lettuce, beetroot, peas, French and runner beans. After hardening off, I’ve planted out my courgettes and hope to do the same with sweet corn which I’ve had to re sow due to very indifferent germination,  later in the month. The end of May should also allow me to plant out my dahlias. Keep tying in your sweet peas and supporting cordon grown tomatoes. Keep an eye out for any late frost and be ready to give the necessary protection.

Finally, for those keen to encourage wildlife in their garden, this month has been designated “no mow May” giving wild flowers a chance to develop. For those who are prepared not to mow or set aside an area from May to September we are promised a plethora of wild flowers and associated insects beneficial to the garden as a whole.

I’m off to Chelsea for the first time in a number of years and hope to pick up new ideas whilst marvelling at the professional growers expertise.

Enjoy your gardening,