pinching out

Grow6: May

Some heat at last, and your plants will be growing before your eyes. However, don’t be tempted to overdo the liquid feeding of tomatoes, greens and plants in pots; they can have too much of a good thing; too much lush, leafy growth can attract greenfly (where do they come from!) both indoors and out. You can gently squidge them off before they become a problem.
Keep up the watering during this dry spell on cooler, overcast days or first thing in the morning. The odd rinse with soapy dishwater can also help control greenfly, as of course will our dear friends, the ladybird. 

If you are starting to grow there is plenty to sow and grow in warmer weather.  See previous posts and our Grow6 crop pages


Peas need something to climb, twiggy sticks, canes and string or netting, and plenty of water as they come into flower. Sow more now for a later crop if you have the space.


Keep up the weekly liquid feed regime as per instructions. Bush tomatoes can be left to grow, flower and fruit in a sunny sheltered spot. However, cordon tomatoes need to be supported with canes and sideshooted for a really good crop. Side shooting involves removing additional growth growing at a 45-degree angle to the stem. It can be fiddly at first, so ask someone for guidance or google it.
Indoor tomatoes can be pollinated by hand- gently move a thin paintbrush between flowers to ensure cross-pollination and keep an eye out for small fruits forming


As berries begin to swell keep strawberries and other fruit in pots well watered in dry spells. Established raspberries, gooseberries and currants can fend for themselves. 
N.B Water the soil around the plant and not the plant itself.


Keep up with regular sowings and pickings of greens. When picking leaves, remove up to a third of the biggest leaves of the plant each time to enable smaller leaves to grow for the next picking. Every time you pick, sow more seeds if you can. One sowing will support about 4 harvests this way. 


Keep sowing leafy, ‘annual herbs’. Basil plants in pots can be pinched out; see the main photo above to promote more busy growth from side shoots. Keep an eye out for greenfly on windowsill herbs and gently wipe them away before they spread to other plants. 

Tougher ‘perennial’ herbs such as chives, rosemary, and sage will be coming into flower. You can still harvest leaves for cooking but leave some for the bees.


Early sowings will begin flowering soon.  If you are growing in containers remember these will need regularly watered.


A warm spell for most of us means bees, bugs, and butterflies are busy looking for food and pollinating our plants; we can’t eat without them, so when you are in a growing space take the time to register which plants they are enjoying.

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