You might have gathered that I like getting my bum out in the garden.
I never thought I would be much of a gardener, but I have literally turned into my mother, who is a keen gardener and basically my walking encyclopedia when it comes to gardening questions.
I’ve learnt a lot in the past few years and I am actually thinking of doing a course in horticulture or garden design to really hone my knowledge and skills out in the dirt.
Here’s what I will be focusing on over the next month; come and join me for my #weekendplantalong on Instagram if you fancy getting involved!
Filling up the veg patch
My veg patch is about 8ft x 5ft, but you can grow plenty in a much smaller space and a lot of what I will be doing is suitable for pots. If you would like to have a go at any of these, the best place to stop by is my Instagram highlights, where you will find a step by step under ‘Grow with me’.
Filling up the veg patch is my main job this month and I expect it will keep me very busy – May being the key time to get stuck in!
I have recently planted courgettes and summer squash in small pots ready to be planted out in the veg patch later this month. There’s still time to get yours going too! Just pop a single seed into a 5cm pot, keep it on a sunny windowsill and spritz the soil regularly (don’t let them dry out). They will sprout in a week or so and once they have filled the pot (check if you can see roots peaking through the drainage hole) they are ready to pot on. When you pot them on, avoid holding any seedling by a stem, as this can kill it. One the weather is warmer – hopefully by the end of this month – the plants will be ready for the veg patch.
Yesterday, I popped my sweetcorn kernels into individual pots (I have planted four – each in a 5cm pot). Pop one kernel into each pot; you will need at least four plants to help with pollination later down the line.
I will be getting all my herbs sown this month: purple basil, thai basil, genovese basil, garlic chives, chamomile, dill, coriander, parsley, chervil and more. Herbs are so easy to grow and you can easily create a herb garden in the smallest back garden or even balcony in pots. As with most plants generally, many of the herbs we grow for cooking need sun, but some – especially mints – will grow in (and prefer) shady areas.
Quick crops like radishes and salad leaves can all be sown outdoors now in the ground or in pots. I have salad growing against my east facing wall where it gets sun, but isn’t scorching. Radishes can be grown with parsnips now to double up veg patch space, since the radishes grow much more quickly.
Toward the end of the month, I will be hardening off my tomato plants, ready to go in the ground or in their outdoor pots, depending on the variety.
Scattering seeds in borders
I like to fill every space of my tiny, newly established garden, so I scatter seeds in the gaps of my borders.
I like to put cosmos and salvias toward the back as they are taller and the front is filled with nemesia, voilas, californian poppies and nigella. They all grow easily and quickly and have beautiful flowers. Whilst the rest of the garden is still establishing, these are great flowers to fill the summer months quickly.
New garden projects
The warmer (or at least sunnier!) days make me want to spend every waking minute outside.
I have a few new projects planned for this month:
- Remove more plastic grass (I cannot bear the stuff!)
- Put in a bird bath
- Create a fence herb planter
- Plant hanging baskets
- Make a bug hotel
I will be writing a blog of each of these projects as a go. One thing in particular I am trying to keep at the very forefront of my mind is being greener and doing whatever I can to help the environment and the wildlife, even if just a little bit. Recently I have seen robins and blue tits start revisiting the garden; there wasn’t much for them until recently – the garden was covered in astroturf when we moved in with not a living thing in sight. We have dozens of butterflies visiting and bees are a constant now; a whopping great bumblebee got stuck in my conservatory the other day – it took me almost an hour to rescue the cumbersome bugger! If there are any garden projects you think I should add to the list I would love to hear your suggestions.