Mr Middleton says: All pruning should have a purpose. If you don’t know why you are cutting a shoot, don’t cut it.
1. Sow Calabresse, Pickling Onions and Garlic.- Calabresse can now be sown in the outside seed bed. This is a form of cauliflower which provides a green head in summer and, when this is cut, produces shoots for winter use. Pickling onions can be sown. Queen Pickling or Silverskin Pickling are good varieties. Put the seeds in thinly on the onion bed. Shallots should be growing now and will benefit from a dressing of general fertilizer hoed in between the rows. Onions planted out in March and now established can also have a light fertilizer dressing. Garlic may be planted in exactly the same wayas shallots, except that the old bulbs are first broken up and the small sections planted separately.
3. Plant first leeks.- The first leeks should be planted now for those that are exhibiting or who like to have them early. Exhibitors must prepare their soil especially well, using manure and fertilizer. Leeks do like a rich soil. There are two ways of growing them- in trenches and in holes. The trench method is best for the exhibitor. It is made in the same way as a celery trench and is about 6-in. deep. The plants are put in 2- or 3-in. deep in single or double rows. As the plants grow they are earthed up with soil to produce well-blanched stems.
6. Earth-up Potatoes: Prepare Marrow Beds.-
9. Sow, Plant and Hoe.- Make any necessary successional sowings. Prick out celeriac sown earlier. Dress shallots with fertilizer. Prepare outdoor tomato sites. Plant out parsley. Thin out Salsify to 6 in. Hoe around fruit trees and bushes.
I made some sowings of Early and Late Purple Sprouting Broccoli two weeks ago and they are just starting to appear, as are the Ruby Chard, carrots and Spinach. The ground is very dry now and l have had to water the seedlings to try and help them along but they never seem to respond the same way as when they have a drop of proper rain. Today was hot and sunny and it looks set to remain the same.
I am moving things out of the greenhouse and hardening them off outside. My leeks are too small to be planted outside yet but another two weeks should see them big enough. I have some Salsify seed and l will make a sowing this week. The garlic l started in October last year has really come on but…..it has the dreaded rust! Every year is the same and l think this will be the last time l try growing it. Its not worth the effort or the space it takes up in my plot that could be used for other crops. I can already see l won’t have enough room for everything l want to grow; its the same every year!