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Rooko's May Top 10 Tips & Tryouts

1. Mint plants will deter slugs. Why not grow mint in pots/containers which can be easily moved around your garden/plot to areas where slugs are prevalent. Keeping mint in containers will also stop it spreading far and wide, as it surely will if planted directly into the ground.

2. Seed sowing in May can consist of the following vegetables: (outdoors under covers) Cucumber, French beans, Runner beans, Sweetcorn. (outdoors) but be aware of late frosts: Brussels sprouts, Cabbage (Summer, Autumn, Winter, Red), Carrots, Cauliflower, Kale, Kohl-rabi, Lettuce, Peas Radishes, Rocket, Spring onions, Swede, Turnips. (indoors) Cabbage, Cauliflower, Chillies, French beans, Marrows, Peppers, Pumpkins, Runner beans, Squashes.

3.Many flower and vegetable gardeners grow Lavender. May is the time to trim these plants back. Cut off any old flower growth and trim back about 1 inch (2.5cm) of new growth too.

4. If you have rodents or rabbits causing problems in your garden try growing some Peppermint which should deter them.

5. Next year I will be undertaking the task of improving the texture of 2 vegetable beds which currently consist of heavy clay. If you suffer from untreated areas of heavy clay in your garden/plot, I hope the following tips will be useful. First check the clay for pH and have the results tested. Add 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7.5cm) of compost, manure or mushroom compost to the surface area and dig or rotorvate it in well. During the growing season add organic matter to the surface again, (mulches). Cover crops can be grown over the Winter period and worked into the clay in the following Spring. This process may have to be repeated over several years before a good soil structure is obtained.
I have heard conflicting advice about adding sand to heavy clay in order to lighten it. I would appreciate any comments from anyone who has experience of using this method.

6. Horsetail (Equisetum Arvense), can be a real pain when it spreads into your garden or plot and is difficult to get rid of. Despite this, it is a herb with many virtues. I thought this link interesting and well worth reading. - Click Here.

 7. Black ant infestations can be dealt with by using sprays made from Tomato or Rhubarb foliage. Remember the use of homemade sprays (U.K.) may be unlawful.

8. Slugs and snails are becoming a nuisance on and around my plots due to the continuing rainy weather. One solution, (I used it last year successfully), is to spread oatmeal around areas frequented by slugs & snails. This method is especially effective on dry areas of ground, for example inside greenhouses/poly tunnels etc. Cheaper than slug pellets too.

9. Tools for Schools
Tools Shed is a garden tool recycling project which collects old tools for refurbishment by local prisons. The spruced up tools are then given free to schools and community groups.
The scheme is operated by the Conservation Foundation and HM Prisons. Click here to find out more.

10. Check your seedlings growth regularly if they are growing in warm conditions, (for example under propagators), before they get "leggy". Moving them into cooler conditions will slow down growth.



  1. We have a large pot of mint in our cold frame area but also plenty of slugs and snails. Do you have to use the leaves as mulch?

    1. The smell of the mint itself is supposed to put off slugs. I've read several sources that claim its true but I have mint (English type) in 2 areas of my plots. One area is usually clear of them and the other not so it seems a bit hit and miss, same as planting Carrots near Onions to repel carrot fly I suppose.


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