The month of May is very demanding for the horticulturist, many vegetables are harvested: the asparagus are at their peak, then there are beets, carrots, cucumbers, chicory for cutting, white onion, peas, broad beans, radish. In the greenhouses, green beans, lettuces, aubergines, tomatoes and courgettes are ready. Many aromatic herbs are then in their full development.
During this period we must pay regular attention to our plants: we monitor the presence of pests, rottenness, cryptogams or if deficiencies occur. This habit will help us to act quickly and reduce damage to a minimum.
Equally important is the elimination of weeds: heat and frequent irrigation stimulate their growth. Ideally, they should be removed manually as soon as they are visible. Alternatively, we can hoe, but with extreme care so as not to damage the base of our crops. The ideal is to prepare a mulch with plastic film or resort to various flakes.
It’s also time to tamp down aubergines, peppers, tomatoes, potatoes and peas: let’s put some soil on the plant, creating a furrow in the centre: we’ll protect the roots and water them more easily.
- The land in the vegetable garden should already have been tilled and fertilized in May; if we were lazy in April, it is good to provide for this work now. So we can begin to put in …
The time of growth and settling is when the water demand is highest. Prolonged shortages or irregularities in distribution can cause poor development and problems of various kinds. The ideal is to have an automatic drip irrigation system or with porous pipes: the water will go directly to the roots, we will not have waste and we will avoid wetting the foliage.
The best alternative is to create grooves, with the tamping, and let the water flow inside.
We adjust the quantity according to the rainfall and individual needs. The best time is early morning, or evening after sunset. We absolutely avoid the middle hours: we could cause thermal shocks to the roots, cracks in the fruits, not to mention that evaporation will frustrate part of our work.
Sowing, planting, special care.
In this period it is still possible to proceed with the sowing, both indoors and outdoors.
In a shady greenhouse, let’s sow some late summer and autumn vegetables such as cauliflowers, broccoli and chard.
Directly at home we can instead put pumpkin, zucchini, cucumber, cauliflower, lettuce, salads, leeks, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, chicory, radish, corn, beans, basil, parsley, rocket and dill.
At the same time we can plant a large number of plants: tomato, zucchini, cucumber, eggplant, pumpkin, melon, escarole, cabbage, lettuce, late variety of potato, basil, pepper and cauliflower.
Let’s also take care of regularly removing the females from the tomatoes and we will also bury the beans, peas, aubergines, peppers, cucumbers and melons.
The garden in May: Parasites, diseases and treatments
With the arrival of higher temperatures and intermittent rains there may be the first manifestations of cryptogams and rottenness. To avoid the onset of cryptogams and rottenness, it is important to avoid wetting the leaves during watering operations. Let’s also do it in the morning: the quick drying of the surrounding soil will help us to avoid the proliferation of spores.
An important help also comes from the removal of the basal sheets: these, touching the ground and water, are the first way to spread. Never forget the distribution of sulfur and copper, alternating, repeating regularly and always after the rains.
Other dangers are phytophagous insects and snails. Phytophagous insects are fought with macerates, pyrethrins or pyrethroids. From the latter must be protected first of all leafy vegetables (head salad and cutting, chard), aromatic herbs (basil and parsley) and, in general, all seedlings recently planted. Maximum attention should be paid after the rains and in the morning, if dewy. We can defend ourselves by removing them manually at dawn, setting barriers and traps with beer.
In the most serious cases we use the appropriate granules.
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