Well now that we are getting towards the middle of autumn, and May is almost upon us, it is really starting to get cool. We have even had a couple of mornings so cold that we have had frost warnings! And as April comes to an end we now have to turn our attention to the many May gardening jobs that need to be done.
One of the more major jobs that we will be doing in our garden during May will be to plant out some of the ornamental shrubs that we currently have in pots. We always seem to accumulate quite a few plants in pots, either purchased or from cuttings. This time of year is a great time to get them planted out so that they can start getting established over the cooler months. This time of year is also great for shifting plants around the garden. We have a couple of plants that are not thriving in their current location so we plan to move them while it is cooler.
This month we will also plant out our spring bulbs. The tulip bulbs are currently in the fridge and they will stay there until we plant them out at the end of May. We also have some other bulbs like hyacinth and daffodils that just need to be potted up. Some of the roses are flowering nicely at the moment but other need to be deadheaded. If we are lucky we might get one more flush of flowers before the winter.
Gee our vegetable garden definitely looks a lot different to how it did during the warmer months! All the peas, beans, cucumbers and tomatoes are well and truly finished. We still have a large patch of pumpkins that are dying back and will be harvested soon. Also our patch of decorative gourds looks quite funny as the plants wither up and leave just the drying gourds!
The carrots are almost all gone; it has been wonderful to be able to pop up to the vegie patch whenever we need some carrots! The broccoli that has been growing all summer is getting nice flower heads on it and we can’t wait to harvest it.
One summer vegetable crop that is still going is the capsicums. The four plants that we have are covered in fruit, including some beautiful dark purple ones! I have been worried that the small capsicums won’t get a chance to mature before it gets too cold. So I have made a makeshift hot-house over the plants and they seem to be coping with the cooler weather so far – fingers crossed!
While our summer vegetable crops are pretty much all gone we have made a start on our winter vegetables. We usually eat lots of onions in this house; on salads and in casseroles, soups and stews. So we decided to plant some onions that could be used for both salads and in cooking.
When we were out at the nursery shopping for onion plants we couldn’t decide on red, white, or cream onions. The solution was that we bought a punnet of each! Thankfully they each have different harvest times – the red onions should be harvested first.
Anyway now we have a fairly large onion patch in the vegie garden which is divided into three sections. They were planted out just over a couple of weeks ago and they are looking good so far – we had about 15mm of rain yesterday so that will help!
Along with the onions we have also planted out a small patch of parsnips and one of silver beet. I also planted some cauliflower seeds a couple of weeks ago and they are coming up and growing nicely.
I just have to share a photo of one of my favourite pot plants which is a beautiful azalea called ‘Charlie’. I was given the plant as a housewarming present around 10 years ago during my university days and it is still going strong. It was just a small plant in a 10cm pot when I got it but now it is a strong healthy plant in a 30cm pot! In autumn and in late winter to spring it comes out in a mass of very pretty pink flowers.
I am not inclined to move it because it has been doing so well where it is. It is under the edge of a veranda and it gets lots of morning sun. We have it in a self-watering pot and it seems to like these conditions.
At the end of last year I bought two more azalea plants. I originally planned to bonsai them both, but now I think that I will keep one as it is and put it in a larger pot next to Charlie!
Another standard May gardening job would have to be raking fallen autumn leaves. We have a few deciduous trees that are turning some beautiful yellow and red colours. Once all the leaves have fallen they will be raked up and added to the compost!
If you would like further inspiration to get you started on your May gardening jobs I can recommend the following links:
May Gardening in Australia:
For my northern hemisphere visitors.
May Gardening in the Northern Hemisphere: