Sunday, May 17, 2015

Mid May Action Plan

Here in the UK, the weather has been so variable this month... warm and sunny one minute, then windy, cold and wet the next. It's a truism to say that in England you can experience all 4 Seasons in one day!

This of course creates a headache for gardeners. Issues such as when to plant out, yet protect against sudden to avoid or deal with diseases when it's warm.... how to support tall plants when it's windy... all need to be thought about and prepared for.
As a basic action plan I recommend you do the following:

.      Frost is still likely to hit us in mid-May. Suggest you keep young plants wrapped up warm until later in the month.

.      As roses begin to bloom the threat from disease and attacks from pests becomes ever more likely,  so be prepared as Baden-Powell said. Be ready to treat disease such as black spot, rust or mildew with a proprietary spray. There are tons on the market so visit your garden centre and take your pick.

If aphids become a problem, try to rub them out as a first step rather than use a spray which could harm other wildlife, particularly bees which are having a rough time of it lately and need all the help we can give them. Try soft soap sprays if all else fails.. they are kinder to all insects.

.      Tall plants are now at that stage of development where they will need support. Stakes or bamboo canes are ideal and will soon be lost to view as the plant develops foliage.

Now is also the time to plant out spring sown cabbages and cauliflowers. Don't forget to give them plenty of room, say about 16 inches apart (in English money),  plant in well manured soil and water well.

Saw an article in the paper the other day bemoaning the loss of allotment space in UK. Sold off to Speculators no doubt. Damn criminal that this has been allowed to happen, especially in this age of austerity. I am old enough to remember when allotments were everywhere, even shared, and supplemented the rations of ordinary folk who had "nowt!" Today's kids think food comes out of a tin from the Supermarket. Every kid should have the opportunity to grow things. Sorry..don't get me started.

See you next time!


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