Greenfingers - May 2019


The photo was taken in early April in the greenhouse, walled garden, Helmsley, N. Yorkshire. It wasn’t just the seedlings popping up, or the splendid labelling, but I thought the layout of the tools looked great too. It was also warm.

As the likelihood of a late frost recedes, seedlings and tender tubers such as dahlias and canna can be hardened off and planted out. Most of our beds are now reasonably weed-free, having spent some effort on these over the last 2 months. This included digging out lots of small allium and celandine plants, and taking them to the recycling centre. Putting them on the compost heap in previous years has probably aided their spread.

Half-hardy vegetables such as runner and French beans can be planted out, and marrow and courgette seeds sown outside. Succession sowings of lettuce, radish, carrot and salad onions can also be made. I tend to treat tomatoes, peppers and aubergine as greenhouse crops, but outdoor varieties can be hardened off and planted in their final positions. It’s a good idea to get the supports in early.

The citrus pots will be moved outside, and sprayed with a liquid soap solution to try to discourage the scale insect. Generally, plants will be checked for pests regularly, especially the lilies and fritillary for lily beetle.

The Eta Aquarids meteor shower peaks on the night of 6th May, caused by debris from comet Halley. The full moon on 18th May is also known as a Blue moon, the third of four full moons in a season, which occurs every 2.7 years. (Rather than when we have two full moons in a calendar month).

Pete Smith