May in the Patch

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The first planting of snowpeas

It’s May and the first frosts have descended upon the good crops of the Central West.

If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to harvest those pumpkins, pull up the zucchini, wrest the tomatoes from the soil and get planting with your winter greens and alliums.

We have had some of the biggest butternut pumpkins that I’ve ever grown, even bigger than the ones I used to grow in the scorching heat of the Riverina.

To make sure your pumpkin last for as long as possible it’s important to leave at a minimum around 5 – 7 cm of vine attached to the pumpkin. Also check your pumpkin for cracks and eat those first as these fine cracks act as an egress for water and disease and will eventually rot.

There are sixteen plants that you can plant in May but that list dwindles to only six in June, so it’s important to get planting soon.

It’s far too late for planting out seeds and it’s almost game over if you want a crop of cauliflower, brussel sprouts, mizuna or lettuce from seedlings.

If you’re that way inclined you can still pop in some broad beans and garlic but you’d better be quick about it.

Some snow peas that have sprung up from last year's fallen seeds.
Some snow peas that have sprung up from last year’s fallen seeds.

A lot of my friends love to grow rocket in their patches, but I don’t. It goes where no plant is meant to go and I tire very quickly from its invasive habits. If you can’t help yourself though, now is the time to pop some seedlings in.

I’ll be removing the last of the zucchini on the weekend and preparing the bed, by adding blood and bone, organic pellets and trace elements for my onion crop.

I’ve recently discovered just how good white onions are compared to the common as bums brown ones. They’re great in salads and I prefer them to the Spanish onions when used as such.

I’ll also be separating and planting out a large circle of self sewn spinach so that I get both big and small leaves.

The broad beans cometh.
The broad beans cometh.

I already have about thirty snowpea plants that are about 7 cm long and at the end of the month I will plant a second batch to keep the production up.

Here is the list of what you can plant in the patch in May.

Seedlings – Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower. From seedlings or seed – Broad Beans, lettuce, mizuna, mustard greens, onion, pak choy, radish, rocket, shallots, snowpeas, spinach and turnip.

Category: Grow

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Article by: Mark Logan

Former photojournalist at the CWD, Mark Logan has mixed together his love of technology with his years of experience as a journalist and photographer to develop the Orange Post. The Orange Post is his baby. A baby whose gestation involved countless ideas, numerous bouts of indecision, an infinite number of hours cursing free software and more than one bottle of wine. Whilst he's not trying to cajole people into writing for the Orange Post, he's attempting to sharpen his vegetable gardening skills. He lives in a strangely shaped house in Millthorpe, loves ignoring recipe directions, dabbles in web design for fun, frustration and profit and is constantly in a battle of the wills with his dog Fergus