Jobs for May

It’s time to start some of your favourite sum­mer crops, and keep up the sup­plies for win­ter and early spring.

NZ Lifestyle Block - - Contents - WORDS JANE WRIG­GLESWORTH

Sow broad beans, kale, onions, peas, radishes, sil­ver­beet, spinach, swedes and turnips di­rectly in the ground. If not sown where they are to grow, trans­plant them to their per­ma­nent po­si­tion as soon as they are large enough to han­dle.

There are two types of lime avail­able: ground lime­stone (or plain lime) and Dolomite lime. Ground lime­stone con­tains cal­cium in the form of cal­cium car­bon­ate, while dolomite lime con­tains cal­cium (cal­cium car­bon­ate) and mag­ne­sium (mag­ne­sium car­bon­ate). If your soil is al­ready high in mag­ne­sium (again, a test will de­ter­mine this), use plain lime.

Make suc­ces­sive sow­ings of win­ter let­tuces and rocket for con­tin­u­ous har­vest­ing.

Au­tumn through to early win­ter, when rain is usu­ally fre­quent, is the best time to ap­ply lime since wa­ter is re­quired for the lime to re­act with the soil.

Cau­li­flower seedlings CAN BE LANTED TOO, BUT ROTECT THEM FROM FROST WHILE STILL YOUN ONCE ES­TAB­LISHED, CAULIFLOW­ERS WILL HA ILY ROW IN COLD CON­DI­TIONS, HOWE ER, HEAD FOR­MA­TION IS AF­FECTED BY EX­TREME TEM ERATURES BOTH HOT AND COLD , SO A TUN­NEL HOUSE MI HT BE BEST IN COOL LACES

The ear­lier your gar­lic goes in, the bigger the yield. Be­fore plant­ing, work a gen­eral fer­tiliser with a high level of potash into the soil. Gar­lic will rot in wet soil, so plant in raised beds or large con­tain­ers if your soil is fre­quently soggy. Sandy loam is ideal, al­though a free-drain­ing clay soil is fine. Plant cloves in a com­posten­riched soil about 5cm deep and 10-15cm apart.

If your soil is acidic (a sim­ple soil test will de­ter­mine this), add lime to raise the soil ph. Cer­tain veges (beans, bras­si­cas, cel­ery, onions and peas) grow bet­ter in soil that has been limed, al­though it’s not the lime it­self they like but an al­ka­line soil.

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Plant seedlings of broc­coli, cau­li­flower, Chi­nese cab­bages, Brus­sels sprouts, sil­ver­beet, spinach and spring onions.

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