The Kitchen Garden in May

Each month during the past year I have written a page describing what I do in the Kitchen Garden in that month.  You will find them on both my side bar and above under Planting Notes.  I have written one for every month except for February and March which I will get around to soon hopefully – or at the very least before February next year…

The information is designed for a southern hemisphere temperate garden.  If you can add any info to my pages then I would love to hear from you.  What do you do in your garden in May (or November for the Northern Hemisphere equivalent)?  What do you/have you planted and what do you harvest?

This is what I have written for May so far:

May, to me, is about watching garlic grow, seeing the broad beans shoot up, wondering whether the capsicums will ripen and eating bowl after bowl of pumpkin soup.

Seeds to Sow:

Broad Beans, Cabbage, Carrot (not all varieties), Chives, Garlic, Kohl Rabi, Lettuce, Mizuna, Mustard Greens, Oregano, Onions, Parsley, Peas, Potatoes, Radish, Rocket, Shallots, Silver Beet, Spinach, Spring Onions, Watercress

Seedlings to plant out:

Bok Choi, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, Cavolo Nero, Cauliflower, Leeks, Lettuce, Pak Choi, Parsley, Silver Beet, Spinach, Watercress,

Garden maintenance to perform:

  • Order seed potatoes.
  • Prune Tamarillo, after harvesting all fruit.
  • Tidy up Autumn fruiting plants as they finish.

Seasonal Plants Harvesting now:

Beans, Capsicum, Citrus, Chillies, Eggplant, Feijoa, Ginger, Pumpkins, Sweet Potatoes, Tamarillos, Turmeric, Tomatoes (although mine have usually finished)

The following plants should be able to be harvestable all year round if planted in succession throughout their growing season:

Broccoli (but it is very susceptible to pests during the warmer months), Beetroot, Carrots, Celery, Lettuce, Mint, Parlsey, Radish, Sage, Silver Beet, Spring Onion, Thyme


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20 Responses to The Kitchen Garden in May

  1. Nina says:

    Thanks for reminding me, I must plant my broad beans, weather permitting. The days I’ve had time on the weekends have been miserable, weather-wise (like today).

    Where do you order your potatoes from, Liz? I usually get them at the local Home Hardware but I was thinking of trying Diggers. I’ve bought some potato bags which I’ll try this year. They have a velcroed flap at the bottom for harvesting. I’ll line them up on the woodchipped area out back. They are the same red/brown colour so they shouldn’t look too out of place.

    I might also plant some in the front where I grew them last season. I know I shouldn’t but it’s difficult rotating veggies especially if you grow many from the same family like potato, tomato, eggplant, capsicum and chilli. Have you had any problems with a build up of disease or pests because of not rotating often?

    • Liz says:

      Last year I ordered potatoes from: They took quite a while to arrive and when they did one was mouldy but otherwise they were good. They have a good selection and the seed potatoes generally were good quality. Otherwise I’ve bought from CERES in Brunswick in Melbourne – they have a good selection but they are probably a bit far for you. I haven’t tried Diggers but have had some pretty mediocre feedback about them previously but they might be worth a go. The Tasmanian supplier was pretty good though, if you ignore the one mouldy tuber. I haven’t tried potato bags – I’d be interested to know how you find them. If your using bags you could consider just sprouting shop (or farmers market) bought spuds the main reason not to are diseases but if they are good quality spuds and your’re not putting them in the ground then the risk probably isn’t that big. Regarding rotation – I try to rotate but I know what you mean about it being difficult. Personally I try to rotate as much as possible but when I can’t I cant. One thing I defintely try to avoid is following tomatoes with another Solanacae crop but other than that I try not to worry too much. This year i will be growing tomatoes where I had potatoes last year. Next year though I’ll put something completely different there (and possibly the year after as well).

  2. Today it’s going to be more seed sowing here too! More broad beans, Rocket, Sorrel, watercress etc-in fact I’ll probably go mad and sow loads as its sunny for once and I’m feeling optimistic!!

    • Liz says:

      I found a whole lot of watercress seedlings in my beds today – self seeded from last years plants – I’ve moved them and will excitedly follow their progress – I do love my watercress.

  3. That’s easy – curl up indoors with a good novel 🙂

    • Liz says:

      Chance would be a fine thing – actually I can’t remember the last time I read a book (well one aimed at adults anyway). I should, I mean to and then something happens and I get distracted.

  4. Jody says:

    We have a very similar list too. Isn’t the garlic encouraging to see. We love to watch it grow. When will you plant those seed potatoes you’re ordering?

    • Liz says:

      We are frost free so as soon they arrive I’ll plant them – I have some in pots growing from last years crop already but I like to try new varieties each year and to avoid disease build up I supplement by buying seed potatoes.

  5. Lrong says:

    Happy gardening to you… I am transplanting the seedlings of many plants onto the plot… long beans, chillies, peanuts, melons, etc…

    • Liz says:

      Such an exciting time of the year for you. I’ve never had success with melons and I’ve never tried peanuts so your crops are quite different to mine in some ways.

  6. Wendy says:

    tamarillo? cool!

    • Liz says:

      I am a huge fan of them – really really nice. My harvest Monday post tomorrow should have some pics of the fruit.

  7. Norma Chang says:

    I am always amazed at how organized you are Liz, like how you made your garden to do list, hope you do not mind my copying.

    • Liz says:

      I think I use up all my organisational ability on the garden – I’m completely incapable of organising my house, or remembering to take food for the kdis when we go out, or to buy bread, or to, or to, or to…. The garden although it looks a bit chaotic at times is fairly organised – well at least in terms of having seedlings available to plant at the right times it is.

  8. I planted my first celery crop in summer and it’s been great. I was wondering whether it might be a crop that can go all year, and it sounds like you’ve had success doing that? As for potatoes, I thought that you need to wait until the earth is really cold but past the time for risk of frost (a potential problem for me in the Country Garden), so we didn’t plant last year until about August I think. Even then we kept the plants under covers just to make sure. I might give some a go earlier this year as a test in the City Garden. I bought seed potatoes last year from Diggers and they were great, a really good variety and all arrived safely, although they don’t send them out until late June or early July from memory (even though we’ve ordered them already!). Love your tumeric crop!

    • Liz says:

      Yeah I do use celery pretty much all year. I find the plants start to bolt in Spring so you need to ensure you sow seed in late winter to ensure they are big enough by the time your current ones go to seed. I do find they can get a bit tough when they’ve been in the garden awhile sometimes anyway, sometimes they are fine. I generally find my August planted spuds give me the biggest harvest so its a good time to plant. Having said that this year I will try planting in Autumn for the first time so we shall see. They should definitely grow in Melbourne over winter (she says confidently), it will be interesting to see how many tubers they set though.

      • OK I’m in, I’ll give Autumn potatoes in a sack a go!

        With our celery this year we put thick white cardboard cylinders around them, supported with a stake and then just lifted the cylinder to cut individual stems off at the bottom to eat. That seemed to keep them really tender, and meant we only harvested as we needed them.

        • Liz says:

          Deal – and I’ll try your celery method. I grow mine as pick and come again now but without the cardboard and I do keep meaning to test how different it is blanched in that way.

  9. Diana says:

    I found the brassica-broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower are easily attack by aphids in partial shade but not in the blazing hot sun. Its really weird for me that I actually got harvest from well-established brassicas in the full sun in our extreme summer heat last summer. I guess it was too hot for the aphids as well in the full sun so they take cover in partial shade.

    • Liz says:

      That is really interesting – I find aphids a real nuisance in Spring and I guess I’ve always assumed they would carry on into summer so I’ve yet to try growing broccoli then. I do find it tends to bolt for me as they weather warms up though. Hmmmj perhaps I just need to try again with a new variety.

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