We want to encourage you to get set and grow this May!
Whether you are creating summer patio displays, sowing crops on the veg plot or allotment, or planting a cutting garden to produce beautiful flowers to pick and bring indoors, there are plenty of exciting projects that you can start this month.
Gardening and growing fruit, herbs, crops and cut flowers are beneficial to health and wellbeing in many ways. It’s rewarding and productive, provides exercise, and helps feed the family with freshly picked homegrown, organically grown produce – the perfect way to keep healthy and save money too!
DID YOU KNOW?
Perhaps gardening and growing your own could reduce the million prescriptions for anti-depressants issued every week. Picking your own fruit and crops can give you a harvesting high! Researchers have found that seeing, smelling and picking fruits and berries can release dopamine from the brain’s reward centre, resulting in a feeling of mild euphoria and wellbeing.
EAT THE RAINBOW WITH COLOURFUL CROPS
There’s a rainbow of colourful and nutritious fruit, veg and salads that you can create your own kitchen garden with.
RED: Tomatoes, Red Onions, Rhubarb Chard, Sweet Peppers, Chillis, Strawberries, Rhubarb.
ORANGE: Carrots, Squash, Pumpkin.
YELLOW: Golden Courgettes and Tomatoes, Sweetcorn, Yellow Beans and Sweet Peppers.
GREEN: Asparagus, Spinach, Peas, Beans, Mangetout, Rocket, Lettuce and salad leaves, Kale, Romanesco, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Cucumber, Pak Choi.
PURPLE: Beetroot, Broccoli, Aubergine, Purple Beans, Purple Asparagus, Red Cabbage, Radish, Kohl Rabi, Plums
WHITE: Cauliflower, Celery, Leeks, Onions, Garlic, Shallots, Spring Onions, Potatoes, Parsnips, Celeriac, Turnip.
Gardening really is good for you!
Whether it’s drifts of golden daffodils or a multi-coloured kaleidoscope of tulips, spring bulbs are the perfect choice to fill borders, patio pots and window boxes. Many fill the air with their heady fragrance too, like hyacinth, making them an ideal pot plant to grow indoors.
Keep the colour coming by mixing bulbs with seasonal bedding plants including long-flowering wallflowers, frothy forget-me-nots, bold daisy-like Bellis perennis, pansies and dainty violas, or primulas and primroses. Also choose early flowering hardy perennials like brunnera, epimedium, bergenia, hellebores, euphorbia, and a host of others.
For many, camellias are the plant of choice for classy spring colour, and although they require an acid soil to flourish they can be planted into large pots of ericaceous compost instead.
Any plants providing Spring Colour eg.:
· Spring flowering bulbs
· Spring bedding plants, including Senetti
· Hardy Perennials such as Perennial Wallflower (Erysimum ‘Bowles’s Mauve’ AGM), Hellebores, Euphorbia, Bergenia and Bruunera ‘Jack Frost’ AGM
· Green perennials to plant now such as Paeonia, Lupin, Delphinium, Hollyhock (Alcea), Digitalis.
Spring flowering shrubs:
· Erica x darleyensis eg ‘Ghost Hills’ AGM
· Clematis armandii ‘Apple Blossom’ AGM
· Oregon Grape – Mahonia aquifolium ‘Apollo’ AGM
· Pieris japonica eg ‘Passion’, ‘Flaming Silver’ AGM
· Skimmia japonica ‘Rubella’ AGM
· Camellia, Azaleas, Rhododendrons
Ash Die back is a real problem for Ash trees in the UK. There is little anyone can do to stop the march of this disease but if you think you might have seen the symptoms in a tree you’ve seen the please look at the following web site https://www.forestry.gov.uk/chalara
Ash die back is still relevant and we still have no movement in or out of the UK. In addition Sudden oak death is ongoing with strict quarantine for stock coming into the UK. However most people are still buying from the UK oak.
Xylella fastidiosa is the current disease which seems to be affecting any genus of plant. It started in the olives groves of southern Italy and has spread across the world. For more information please visit https://hta.org.uk/assurance-compliance/plant-and-disease-alert-xylella-fastidiosa.html