May Allotment Jobs


  • Take extra care on young and vulnerable seedlings planted out
  • Keep weeding and hoeing
  • Start your pest control in ernest (naturally, ideally)

What to grow in May

Plant out vegetables you may have started indoors unless they need to remain in the greenhouse.

May on the allotment is one of the busiest months on the allotment calendar. The weather is warmer and early sowings may be ready to harvest, there are new seeds to be sown or plants to be planted out, as well as all the watering if it is a warm and dry May, weeding and general maintenance.

For young, vulnerable plants, hand-weed to avoid damage and thin out where you may have sown too many, too close together. They may require protection from wet weather (or even a late frost) or pests and diseases, which is another thing to look out for this month.

The potatoes you planted in April will need to be earthed up this month. When the foliage is approximately 10-12 inches tall, mound up the earth from each side of the row, nearly covering the plant and forming a ridge. This will help protect the tubers from late frosts and turning green and poisonous.

Hopefully you can start to enjoy some harvesting too from early sowings, such as lettuce, cabbage, spinach, radishes and more. 

Early seeds, sown indoors can be brought out and hardened off and planted out in their final growing position. There may be more direct sowing to be done and continuous sowing of crops for a constant yield.

May is the month for early seedlings to go out, such as leek, sprouts and summer cabbage, as well as others. Leeks should resemble a pencil in size. Make a 6-inch-deep hole with a pole or similar and pop the leek seedling in and fill the hole with water. There is no need to fill in the hole with soil. This will happen naturally.

Some crops may require some support ready for their growth, such as beans and peas and climbing plants. Ensure it is strong and sturdy to take the weight once the fruits have formed, as well as the foliage and that it can withstand any winds.

Your watering may have increased this month if we are experiencing a hot May. You may want to consider your supply and that you have some rainwater harvesting methods in place, such as a water-butt.

Hopefully now, we are enjoying the outdoor activities much more with longer days but do not overlook the greenhouse. Ensure you have adequate ventilation and keep a temperature check. Keep the pots and growbags watered too and keep an eye for pests and diseases. Plants can be saved if you detect problems early.

The key, this month, is to keep on top of the weeds. Hoe the smaller ones, which will grow into big ones! Weeds can quickly overwhelm young plants if they are left, making it much more difficult for them to grow healthily with the space, light and nutrients that the weeds will take from them. Some weeds, like bindweed is relentless if it is not kept in control and will soon smother your plot.

Slugs and snails will be prevalent now, if in any doubt - cover everything! 

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