Gardening in May
Finally it is here, the merry month of May - warmth is back and everything is growing and blooming. The garden turns green and flourishes.
Now is the time to put all the remaining seeds into the bed after all risk of frost has passed. Now you can sow all kinds of cabbage (broccoli, cauliflower etc.), beans, peas, sweet corn, summer salads, celery, cucumbers, chicory and kitchen herbs directly into the field. As always before sowing, make sure that the beds are deeply loosened and freed of root weeds and that you have worked in a thick layer of compost. If you have already grown pumpkins, melons, zucchini, aubergines, peppers, chillies and tomatoes on the windowsill, you can now slowly accustom them to the weather by placing them outside during the day. It is best to start with a half-shaded place, as the plants can still get sunburnt in the blazing sun. From mid-May onwards, you can sow these heat-loving vegetables directly in the field after the ice saints.
In May the main thing is to enable the garden to grow well. Is the strawberry bed well mulched or do they need a straw mat so that the strawberries can develop well? Where should mulching be added for increasing the water retention capacity of the soil and preventing it from drying out too much in summer? The main work in the garden is now also weeding: remove wild herbs, which usually grow faster than the vegetables or newly sown flowers. If you are now sowing vegetables that are to remain in the bed during the hot months, consider placing them in a semi-shaded area or under a roof to protect them from excessive sunlight. Cabbage, kohlrabi and carrots, for example, will do well in summer with a half-shaded place.
If you want to harvest until late autumn, it is time to sow slow-growing root vegetables such as carrots, parsnips and beetroot. Even the classic kale can grow over summer and remain in the bed until late autumn or even winter. Kale likes a loose substrate and should be well protected from snails at the beginning. It grows particularly well in a mixed culture with celery, coriander and tomatoes.
And wherever a few square metres of bed are left free now: Sow annual flowers as pasture for bees and insects. Not only you will enjoy the colourful flowers, but they will also lure the little helpers into your garden. Use Phacelia, buckwheat, red clover (alfalfa), wildflower mixtures, marigolds or sunflowers. If you sow in intervals of one month until mid-July, the insects will find food until late autumn.