Changeover Time – Diary of a Rocket Gardener

Well, here we are in early May! Thank goodness. It’s changeover time for me in my veg patch at the moment and I’m mostly pulling up old plants and getting rid of weeds.

Luckily, my Rocket Gardens veg plants haven’t arrived yet as I’m nowhere near ready for planting yet… although I never really like to plant out until around 20th May. Whenever I have planted earlier than that, things have gone horribly wrong! They’ve either struggled with strong winds, or been hit by chilly nights.

I’m frantically harvesting the last flurry of purple sprouting broccoli which was planted in September – I’ve been amazed by the amount I’ve got from the three plants that did NOT get eaten by pigeons. Such a great crop. I’ve pulled up the last of the parsnips and leeks just this week, and finally pulled up all the mustardy leaves which were in beautiful yellow bloom and rapidly going to seed. So….my plot is practically bare. Apart from the weeds.

If you’ve been following my posts, you’ll know that I’m using the no-dig method of growing – mulching heavily instead of digging over the soil each autumn/spring. This has, until recently, done a great job of keeping weeds down. However, this spring there are a few beds that have succumbed to the likes of bindweed and nettles. I’m going to tackle them hard this weekend and once I’ve got as much out as possible, I’ll top up with compost mulch ready to plant when my delivery arrives.

Meanwhile, my strawberry bed is in full flower, so another important job for the weekend is to sort out some squirrel protection. Last year I used mesh netting, and they just chewed holes through it and got to the strawberries that way. This year, I’m going to choose a wire netting. Fingers crossed.

My other weekend job is to build the bean support frame. I go for an A frame, making it as sturdy as I can to withstand windy days in late summer when the plants are full size and easily knocked over by a strong gust. Then, at some point next week, I need to get into the greenhouse and wash it down, pull up weeds and water the soil well – it is bone dry in there!

It is a busy time, and I just pray that my plant delivery does not come for at least another week!!