May has to be one of my favourite months of the year, not just because it often has more reliable weather than August, or because two bank holidays give the luxury of a couple of long weekends (although the reliable weather thing doesn’t usually extend to cover the British Bank Holidays as we are often made only too aware!). No, my reason for loving May is the sight of masses of vegetable plant seedlings bursting forth from the depths of their warm compost beds.
My mini greenhouse is full of recycled pots and containers with healthy seedlings and young plants and thinking of the potential leafy greens, brassicas, beans, beetroot, carrots, corn and more that I could be harvesting and enjoying in the next few months is very exciting.
This year has seen us make a difficult decision to hand back our two allotments and take to growing in our garden among the plants; a decision borne from a number of things including frustration at persistent thefts from our plot, wanting to experiment with seeing how productive a small garden can be, and trying to juggle busy lives packed with more activities than there are hours in the day. It will also be good knowing that two more local people will be able to grow their own while we continue with our back garden growing – much in the style of Alys Fowler, author of The Thrifty Gardener and presenter of the recent BBC series, The Edible Garden.
So as a result, my bank holiday weekend will likely be spent planting out a variety of vegetables, including constructing a pea and bean tunnel (I’ll let you know how that goes!) and getting the next lot of seeds in for a constant supply of fresh home grown vegetables into the season. My only regret so far with the new back garden veg plot plan is that the late frosts and cold weather were my excuse for not getting more seeds in earlier, as I could have been enjoying some early carrots, spring onions and lettuce as well as my army of raddish plants… but that gives me something to improve on next year!