May Day

It’s not too late to sow courgettes and squash.

Which is lucky for me as only three of my eight courgette seeds germinated.

I wanted to grow some to give away or share so I was a bit disappointed.

By contrast almost all my Turk’s Hat gourd (saved seed from the Norwich Seed Swap) and Crown Prince squash have emerged.

It’s worth letting the seed company know if you do have bad germination rates.

Moreveg who supplied mine have come up trumps and are sending me some replacements gratis.

I’m growing two varieties new to me – Athena Polka and Green Defender. Both are F1 which means the seeds cannot be saved

I’m continuing to sow three kinds of basil; sweet, classico and Mrs Burn’s Lemon.

I sowed this basil about six weeks ago

Coriander is also being sown little and often although it tends to bolt quickly in summer.

Sweetcorn seed is about to go in. It needs warmth to germinate – the RHS website says between 18 and 21 celsius.

I will do the same with my replacement courgette seeds – they can fail to germinate if they are left in cold wet or overly damp conditions.

The last couple of years I’ve grown ruby or pink passion chard butĀ I’m starting to sow Swiss Chard “Bright Lights” for a change.

I’ve sown three chard seeds per module.

The ribs and stalks on this chard are a mix of pink, yellow and orange.

I’ll plant them out in a month or so.

Last year’s chard and leeks are starting to bolt and run to seed so I’ve been giving loads away before they become inedible.

I have made a couple of wonderful pasta saucesĀ  with them – just sliced leeks, chard steamed and finely chopped along with a little garlic, olive oil and stock.

Fantastic stirred through tagliatelle or papardelle.

Talking of leeks I have some tiny ones in modules almost ready to plant out in groups of three, four or five.

And I shall do an outdoor sowing of Bleu de Solaise soon in a seedbed that will then be separated into singles when big enough and planted in the more traditional deep holes on their own.

Asparagus, parsley and lemonAsparagus, parsley and lemon
Asparagus, parsley and lemon is good in a risotto

We’ve also been cutting asparagus which has been great grilled on a cast iron griddle or steamed with a vinaigrette.

My main crop potatoes are in. They’re both blight resistant varieties – Sarpo Mira and Sarpo Axona.

It was really hard work to plant them out as we had to weed the whole area first.

I used a bulb planter to cut holes into the earth about six inches deep and then popped in and covered about 20 tubers.

I can only manage about 20 minutes at a time and so end up working in short bursts followed by an hour’s recovery time!!

Lovely red ‘Mozart’ potatoes from two years ago

I’m expecting a few more in the post – a friend’s offered me some second early Charlottes and some Pink Fir Apple.

They should all do well after three or four days of April showers – some of them quite heavy – which have broken the near drought we’d been experiencing.

I emptied the water butts into buckets and watering cans to allow room for more precious rain to be saved

And now is the time to pot on my baby kale seedlings.

I’ll make sure I protect them and the perennial Daubenton Kale cuttings I was given by Willy Bailey of Norfolk Organic Group or NOG when I plant them out.

A couple of weeks ago I stupidly left some calabrese and swede seedlings uncovered and they were snaffled by pigeons.

Finally don’t be tempted to sow your French or climbing beans too early.

They should be sown mid to late May after all risk of frost is gone.







2 thoughts on “May Day”

  1. My sweet corn are up and I am now going to plant Squash seeds so they can go in together. I will let you know how things go on

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