Stephanie's Kitchen Garden Diary - Early May 2005
Kitchen Garden Update - Early May 2005
With the Kitchen Garden resembling an oasis of green, it is time to catch up with the progress of the crops currently enjoying the May cocktail of warm sunshine and heavy showers.
Already well documented is the warfare in the brassica bed, with the recent application of nematodes likely to knock our slimy friends firmly on the head. The other beds are home to various flourishing
crops, with five rows of potatoes stretched out along the length of bed one, with the garlic sitting comfortably alongside. The potatoes, after the Great Chitting Saga of March, are producing lots of leafy growth and have been regularly ‘earthed up’, primarily when frost is forecast and also as a precaution to prevent any tubers being exposed to daylight. The garlic has proved to be relatively low maintenance, with regular weeding and watering the only operations required, and is due for harvest in June.
The perennial vegetables – asparagus and artichokes - will eventually take up a lot of room in bed two and have been planted around 75cm apart, with 90cm between rows. As the plants are still young, they look lost in this bed at present, but are in for the long haul and will soon begin to expand. Both these types of plant demand regular and thorough soaking and although the weather has helped out a great deal in this department, it is still almost a daily task.
The legume bed currently consists of more framework and netting than plants, but the runner bean seeds have been sown under glass in rootrainers and will soon be at the planting out stage. The broad beans, after a shaky start, are looking good and are currently in flower, with some jumbo jet size bumble bees manoeuvring slowly between the plants. The supporting wires are a token gesture at present but will prove invaluable when the beans start to set, and the peas are a glorious shade of green, their creeping tendrils clinging like grasping fingers to the netting provided.
Bed four is currently empty – apart from the weeds, regularly hoed out in hot sunny weather, where they lay on the soil surface, slowly frying – but has been earmarked for occupation by pumpkins and squashes very shortly, and should be the place to be come Halloween, especially with a pumpkin variety rejoicing in the name Jack o’ Lantern.
Protected by a freestanding steel vegetable cage, covering most of bed five, is the sweetcorn and the three tier Link a Bord raised bed system, with the ‘third place’ tier currently home to spinach. The other two beds are soon to be planted out with cabbages, and outside the confines of the cage are some of the first crop of lettuce, growing well but currently under close observation as some brown rust like patches have appeared on some leaves. Any suggestions as to what this mottling may be are most appreciated!
This brings you up to speed with exactly what is going on outside, and for full details on all the products we have been using, consult the main website. Next time – greenhouse news!