May Newsletter

“Ne’er cast a clout, ‘til May is out”, whether you believe this refers to a winter coat or to May blossom this little saying gives excellent advice.

Don’t put away your warm clothing and don’t put your plants out until the last danger of frost has gone. This does of course depend on whereabouts in the country you live but even down here, in Devon, May can deliver some pretty cold nights.

Greenhouses across the country will be bursting at the seams with young plants and seedlings but don’t be too hasty. Keep some horticultural fleece handy, just in case. Let’s hope May brings us some sunshine with warm nights so that we can start hardening off and planting out.

  • Veg seeds, especially sweetcorn and beans can be sown direct this month. Rake the soil first to a nice crumbly tilth and remove all weeds. Then just follow the advice given on your Dobies seed packet.
  • If you don’t have the space to grow veg from seed then check out our range of both grafted and non-grafted veg plants. They are selling out fast but some are still available.
  • Lawns will need weekly mowing. For a more natural look why not just mow a path through longer grass and enjoy the wildflowers?
  • Earth up your potatoes once the stems are showing by about 20cms. This will result in a larger crop.
  • Harvest and enjoy your asparagus spears – see below for ideas
  • Keep on top of the weeds.
  • Regularly water newly planted trees and pot-grown fruit plants.
  • Put plant supports in place now so that the plants grow up through them.

dobies header-plot

Home-grown asparagus is a real May treat and with crowns producing for many years, setting aside room for an asparagus bed is well worthwhile. Harvest the spears whilst young and keep them in the fridge until you are ready to enjoy them.

Wonderful eaten raw, chopped and dressed with lemon juice, olive oil and garlic, asparagus can also be roasted, toasted, grilled, stir-fried or steamed.

Asparagus works well with:

Wild Garlic          Lemon               Egg                   Chilli          Balsamic Vinegar

Pine Nuts            Mozzarella        Parmesan       Basil           Tarragon

Spaghetti            Rice                    New potatoes

Maybe it’s just me but I can’t think about asparagus without also thinking of smelly pee! It doesn’t put me off eating it but is certainly not pleasant. But do we all have to put up with this nasty side effect?  I turned to Modern Farmer for the answer:

“Scientific study has confirmed why some individuals don’t notice the uniquely pungent urine experienced by others after eating asparagus: The sulfurous compounds in asparagus pee are highly correlated with a condition called “specific anosmia,” the genetic inability to smell certain odors. In an infamous blind smell test, 328 individuals were subjected to the odor of a man’s urine after he had eaten asparagus. The majority of those who had experienced asparagus pee themselves were able to correctly identify the substance, while those that claimed their urine did not smell strangely after consuming asparagus were not.”

Hanging Basket with a Difference

How about trying something different in your hanging baskets this year? Maybe something that will surprise and delight all who walk by? Our Pink Hanging Basket Hydrangea fits the bill. The large dramatic flower-heads will create a stunning display that is not only impressive but also a unique way to show off this garden favourite.

pink hydrangea

Unlike many other hydrangea plants that you buy early in the season, these plants, complete in basket, have been grown in a way that means tiny flower buds will already be present deep in the buds, so as long as they’re looked after properly they will flower this year! Each basket will be supplied with around 7-8 plants already planted in them and starting to grow.

If you like hydrangeas then please also take a look at our new Hydrangea Trio, comprising of three complementary coloured plants growing in the same pot. Simply stunning!

hydrangea trio

Keeping Chickens

We’ve been crowing for a while about our new Keeping Chicken range and I don’t want you to feel hen-pecked but please be a good egg and take a peek. We offer a one-stop-shop for all chicken keepers and can even provide you with fertilised eggs for hatching. Egg-cellent news, I hear you cry!

Latest Catalogue

Have you received our 64-page Summer Catalogue 2017? If not then do let us know please and we’ll send one to you.