This week it is time for one of my favourite jobs of the growing year; planting out our sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are an essential in Stephanie’s Kitchen Garden, not only for the amazing crop they provide us with, but also for the way the plants look.

Sweet Potatoes May 2017

Grown up an obelisk they are always an eyecatcher. This year they are to be grown in one of our new metal raised beds which will make them even more attractive. The soil in the raised bed has been enriched with well rotted manure and homemade compost to give them plenty of nutrients to encourage big tubers. The sweet potato slips are planted through a layer of polythene which helps to keep the soil warm and damp. Planting sweet potatoes is always a sign that summer has truly arrived in the garden.

We will also be planting out our leeks this week. They are now the thickness of a pencil which means they are ready to be transferred to their final growing position. We will be making holes in the soil with a dibber and popping one seedling into each hole. The hole is then watered to settle the soil around the roots of the young plant.

Strawberry Plants May 2017

We will be planting out our second sowing of climbing bean plants. A few weeks ago we planted out our original crop only to be caught out by a very severe and unexpected late frost. These new plants will fill the gaps left by the plants we lost.

Most of our young plants have now been planted out into the garden, freeing up space in the cold frame and the greenhouse. This week we will be sowing more salads, rocket, spinach, chard and beetroot into trays in the cold frame and greenhouse. These will then be used to fill any spaces created by harvesting around the garden, nmaking the most of every single growing space.

We are keeping a close eye on our strawberry plants which are currently adorned with green fruits that are beginning to swell. We are keeping them well watered and fed with liquid seaweed feed to encourage large juicy fruits. The anticipation is mouth watering!

Happy Gardening!