Spring is moving into summer, folks, and of course there’s plenty going on in the garden. Pour yourself a glass of that ginger ale and ponder a few of the things on Bob Allium’s to-do list.
If you live in a cold area, be sure to protect plants against the late frosts of May. Avoid sowing tender plants into frost pockets, which are areas shaded by fences, hedges and the like. If a cold snap is looming, cover exposed plants with a fleece. Remember to watch weather forecasts. Containers may be moved to sheltered, warmer parts of the garden if low temperatures are predicted.
Now’s a good time to thin out beets and spinach. May and June are also the months when you’ll earth up potatoes, so you’ll mound them up with earth once they’re about 9 inches high. This will increase the harvest and prevent tubers from going green.
Remember to sow repeat vegetable crops such as beets, carrots, radishes, lettuce and chard. You’ll keep your kitchen in constant supply that way. Marrows, zucchini, and sweet corn can also be sown in May or June – start them off in the greenhouse if the weather is still unreliable.
Fertilizing, Watering, Weeding
June’s the time to fertilize roses and perennials. A granular fertilizer is ideal for getting nutrients to vegetables, too, like tomatoes and cucumbers.
At this vital time, you don’t want water or nutrients to be stolen from your plants, so be sure to often hoe the weeds. As the days become warmer, do your watering early or late in the day. Mow the lawn weekly during these months, or start to mow less if you live in a hot area.
As you go about your business in the garden, nature has its own agenda to follow. Help thirsty birds by maintaining a supply of fresh water, and check for bird’s nests if you clip hedges in May. Gardens and wildlife go together like summer and elderberry wine.