May 2015 - Week 2

Apple Blossom


Seems like a good year for apple blossom in garden and orchard, perhaps '9 out of 10'.  Even some of those trees that might be considered biennial are flowering.  We are in the middle of the blossom season now and the early fruit seems to have set.  There are plenty of insects around to carry out pollination.

This is the week of Franken Nights; the time at which beer brewers might sell their souls to the devil in exchange for a frost to blight the young fruit.  The forecast shows westerlies for a week or more so we have probably survived this crucial period.



I've harvested a small patch of 20 or 30 bulbs of garlic that were in the polytunnel.  I wouldn't have said that they were completely mature but I was worried that the necks might begin to rot and I'm benefitting from the extra space in the tunnel.

I'm not sure what variety garlic they are.  The bulbs certainly seem a good size.  Tradition has it that garlic is sown (outside) on the shortest day and harvested on the longest day.  I sow mine in modules whenever the cloves start sprouting in September-November.  When the cloves have developed roots and the last of the tender produce has come out of the polytunnel they will go in there for the winter and spring.  A good use of the tunnel at that time of year.

The garlic bulbs are being slowly dried over the Rayburn.  I'll select the best cloves for re-planting this autumn.

Poached Egg Plant (Limnanthes)


Poached Egg plant is flowering and brings colour to the veg garden.  This plant requires no maintenance but plenty of sunshine.  It is supposed to attract insects such as hoverflies to your garden.

A small patch will freely self-seed and the new plants can be easily transplanted in autumn or spring.


 Watercress Plants

With the use of a polytunnel it is possible to have salads available every day of the year.  This means that a succession of plants have to be raised.  I've just transplanted some watercress plants from the seed module into pots for growing on.  Watercress is an essential part of a spicy salad.  This spring sowing will go outdoors and an autumn sowing will mature in the polytunnel, where it will be productive from about December to March.  Watercress doesn't need running water but I do find that it goes to seed quickly if too hot or dry.