what to do in the garden in may
• Winter pruning of fruit trees can begin once the leaves drop off and the trees enter their dormant phase. At the very least, cut out dead or diseased and crisscrossing branches that will impede light getting into the heart of the tree.
• Finish late harvesting of anything that cold wet weather is going to destroy.
• Prepare garlic planting ground with lime, then in a few weeks add broken down manures and compost.
• Sort the garlic, add new strains and swap with friends whose garlic crops are amazing.
there are so many great types of garlic – what will you plant for 2016?
• In temperate areas continue to plant broccoli seeds which will slowly grow over winter and be ready to eat next spring; it’s easy at this time of year due to the lack of caterpillars.
• Prepare for the cold by having frost protection ready: cloches, frost cloth and moveable shelters will all help more fragile plants survive the cold.
• Green salad goodies can also be planted out for adding in large handfuls to soups and casseroles. Cos lettuce, mizuna, chervil, rocket and cress are all tasty. Keep them warm with the help of a plastic-covered cloche or plant them in a sunny spot with a frost cloth shelter around them to maximise warmth and offer protection.
• If you live in a really cold area, bean sprouts or micro greens in a warm kitchen will continue the production of fresh food for you through winter.
JANE BELLERBY lives in Golden Bay at the tip of the South Island with partner Brett. She loves to garden, to run with her dog Sam and to ride her horses.