I like Melbourne in May. For a start my birthday is in May and that means presents. May also brings our first really Autumnal weather heralding falling leaves and slightly cooler temperatures. As a result May often sees the final harvesting of many warmer weather crops. Crops that started in Feb – April continue on in May, things like Sweet Potato, Tamarillo, Eggplant, Capsicums and Chillies as well as greens & herbs like Parsley, Kale, and Silverbeet. As I have included them in my earlier posts I won’t highlight them here. Instead these are some of the new things and final crops that will come out of my and other Melbourne gardens in May.
Pomegranate – I should really have included pomegranate last month but as my tree is yet to reach cropping size I wasn’t really sure exactly when crops began. I went round pick up my daughter from a friends house the other day to find two trees in their backyard laden with beautiful bright red fruit. And better yet the family to whom they belong to don’t use them so we get them all! YAY! I picked a good few that day and left a few that weren’t quite ripe yet but as those others will ripen in May I thought I could include them in this post.
Feijoa – I love Feijoa’s but as yet I haven’t found room for a plant so this is another crop that I have to scavenge from neighbours. There is a tree between my house and the shops which conveniently deposits fruit on the footpath and May is when it generally deposits them. As its not unusual to use feijoas as hedging I suspect I’m not the only one who gets their fruit by picking it up on their daily constitutional.
Lettuce – My lettuce struggled this summer. I didn’t look after it well enough and the plants bolted in the heat. Plus I didn’t sow seed regularly enough to keep up with the bolting. All this will change in May as the ones I sowed at the beginning of March start to crop well. My plants seem to be really enjoying our mild (about 20C) temperatures and are growing nicely. Well those that haven’t been attacked by my marauding hens are, but that is another post altogether….
Basil – I find my basil plants start to look a little on the sad side by the end of May so I try and harvest as much as possible during the month in order to freeze it for use during winter. I freeze basil leaves whole and in pesto form, with both working well as a way of ensuring I have that fantastic basil flavour to use with all those tomatoes I preserved over summer.
Turmeric – I think I will harvest my turmeric crop in May – I harvested at least some of it then last year. It does depend on the weather a bit as I do want to maximise its growing time so if May is really mild I might not harvest until June. Regardless though I will probably bandicoot around a grab a few bits as I have been doing with my ginger for the last month or so.
So what will you harvest during May, or indeed enjoy scavenging from others?