May-4th Week

26 May

Mr Middleton says: Never allow a weed to flower in the garden.

I could do with this lot helping out in my garden!

May-4th WEEK

1. Plant Mid-Season Leeks.- Leeks for use up to Christmas may now be planted. Do not plant many as there is so much other produce available at the time.Their greatest value is from Christmas to May. For ordinary purposes the best method of planting is to make holes with a pole or blunt dibber some 6-in. deep. The distance apart should be 12 in. between the rows and 9 in. between the holes. Use only good plants, the roots trimmed a little and the leaves cut back, and drop them in the holes.A little soil can be pushed in to cover the roots, and this should be followed by watering to settle them into position. The holes should not be filled with soil, but left to give room for the leek stems to swell.

2. Kohl Rabi Instead of Turnips.- Kohl Rabi should now be sown. A fairly rich soil suits it best, and it should not be allowed to grow too large and coarse. Use when of tennis-ball size.

3. Sow for Various Successions.- Successional sowings of radish, short-horn carrots, six-week turnips, lettuce etc., should be made according to family requirements, and the capacity of the garden.

4. Outdoor Tomatoes, Marrows and Cucumbers.- In sheltered gardens of the south outdoor tomatoes can be planted. Elsewhere it is better to wait a week. There are many places where they will thrive in the open garden, but the position should not be windswept. In more difficult areas they should be grown against a wall or fence facing south. Vegetable marrows, too, can be planted out of doors when frost is passed. Cucumbers can be planted in a cold frame or in a cold house.

5. Look to Grapes.- Bunches of grapes, which will be developing rapidly, should be thinned out before the fruits become crowded. Use long, thin scissors and hold up the fruits with a stick. Do not use the fingers.

6. General Work.- Autumn-fruiting raspberries cut down earlier will have produced growths long enough to need tying to the wire supports. Clean sea-kale beds, and dress with agricultural salt. Mulch peas and other crops on light soil. Earth-up potatoes.

I planted my early leeks a couple of weeks ago. The method Mr Middleton describes for planting leeks is the same today. Some people say it is not necessary to trim the roots and the tops of each plant but l find, by doing so, they are easier to put in the holes and they are not top heavy helping them to stay snug in the soil. They never seem worse off for it.

Although l don’t have many raspberry canes in my garden those l do are laden with fruits. Along with most other cane fruit it really pays to have a few plants in the garden especially out here where soft fruit is incredibly expensive.

I have been hardening off the tomatoes over the past few weeks and have transplanted them into large pots situated by the side of the greenhouse where it is reasonably sheltered. Just as well as we have had really strong winds blowing in overnight accompanied by a few showers.

There is still so much to do out there and the weeds still keep appearing. Don’t turn your back for a second!

Sorry, my original post was published before it was completed. I can’t get the staff!


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14 responses to “May-4th Week

  1. chicaandaluza

    May 26, 2011 at 09:22

    Great post – can´t believe they were talking about Kohl Rabi back then. And grapes too, can´t imagine there would be too many places in Britain where they grow well or am I being naive? Our grapes have gone crazy – we seem to have so many little bunches, we´re not sure if we should remove a few. Any advice? Loved the photo, I have a very similar one of my (now deceased) great aunt who was a Land Girl – they all still managed to look so glamorous!

    • trevorhunt

      May 26, 2011 at 10:57

      I agree Tanya. I thought is was strange that anyone back in those days would be growing their own grapes. Maybe in the old greenhouses in those big walled gardens perhaps? I remember helping a friend once to thin the grapes in his greenhouse. Just look at the vine to see what is looking like the better of the bunches and remove the others. This allows those bunches that are left to fully develop rather than have a vine full of half-matured fruit.
      I intend to supplement my blog with features on the Land Girls. I am in total awe of these young ladies. They did fantastic work and should be recognised more for their part in the war effort.
      On another note, my blog has been included on the Guardian Garden Blog site so hopefully you might get more hits too.

      • chicaandaluza

        May 27, 2011 at 09:43

        Ooh – congratulations on the Guardian mention. how exciting! And thanks for the advice on the grapes – will mention this to Big Man as he is still looking at the vines and pondering…

      • trevorhunt

        May 27, 2011 at 17:32

        Try the RHS site as well Tanya. You can leave questions on their forum for replies, often from very well informed people. Just a thought.

  2. Toffeeapple

    May 26, 2011 at 15:45

    Interesting to read about Kohlrabi, I too thought it was a recent introduction. My tomatoes have been outside for weeks, in deep pots and for the first time I have not needed to water them today.

    I’d be very interested to read about the Land Army girls.

    • trevorhunt

      May 26, 2011 at 16:42

      Hi Toffeeapple, Apparently, Kohlrabi has been around for ages and came from Eastern Europe where it is still very popular. I grew it once and seem to remember it being quite tasty. Still howling here too along with heavy showers which are more welcome.
      I will make a start on the Land Girls section soon.

  3. Janet/Plantaliscious

    May 27, 2011 at 10:24

    I love the “according to family requirements, and the capacity of the garden”! I finally got all my tomatoes planted up, indoor and out, though the last of the greenhouse tomatoes were looking rather sorry for themselves. Don’t turn your back for a second? Try turning your back for a week – horrific results!

    • trevorhunt

      May 27, 2011 at 17:28

      Hi Janet, I love the way he writes too; of times gone by never to be repeated, which is such a shame. Good luck with the toms. What sort are you growing? I am trying Black Crimean for a change. Will let you know how they get on. Have a great weekend.

      • Janet/Plantaliscious

        May 27, 2011 at 17:40

        Ah, well, I’m experimenting, so Gardener’s Delight, Golden Nugget (lots because we know we love them and you don’t have to grow them as a cordon…), Ferline, Olivade, Marmande and red and yellow tumbling toms. Well, you did ask! Happy weekend – I will be weeding. A lot…

      • trevorhunt

        May 28, 2011 at 08:49

        Wow! I am suitably impressed! Mr Middleton would have been proud of you!

  4. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

    May 31, 2011 at 23:04

    Such a great idea for a blog and so fascinating to read about the sacrifices the British made. Read about you over at Chicaandulza and had to check it out.

    • trevorhunt

      June 1, 2011 at 08:14

      Thanks Rufus. Have checked out yours too and its hell of a blog. Full credit to you! Will call by again soon.

  5. JamieAnne

    June 1, 2011 at 03:39

    Fabulous looking garden. I’m considering growing leeks. 🙂

    • trevorhunt

      June 1, 2011 at 08:16

      Hi JamieAnne, Thank you for your kind comments. Yes, leeks are a great vegetable to have in your garden so give them a go.


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