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Into May.

A couple of years ago I grew a few seeds from a Pepino fruit that I bought in a Supermarket. I suppose I was quite optimistic about growing the plants, but a little disappointed with the results. I expected to get some of its delicious little melon like fruits, but my bushes struggled in the greenhouse, whereas at Oak Tree Farm, the lad that I gave one to had a lot of fruits on his. Since then he has lost his due to being in an unheated greenhouse, but mine has survived albeit in a sad state. New buds are coming and as I have decided not to grow any Tomatoes in the Greenhouse this year I will be able to devote a little more space and perhaps care to my Pepino. Who knows, with a bit more T.L.C. maybe, it will reward me! 
As April came and went I put my tender Fig and Olive trees that had been over wintering in the greenhouse outside on the yard at home. Late frosts throughout April burnt some of the new young leaves and did some damage especially on the Bay trees that were outside all winter on the allotments. Also on my Allotment was a little Olive tree, but that over wintered OK. I did try a Meyer Lemon on my plot, but that just couldnít stand it. They are tough, but obviously not tough enough. Maybe in a city or big town where it is slightly warmer than the countryside it would be OK for most years. Soon my Orange, Lemon, Kumquat and Callistemon will go out now that we are well into May and the chances of frosts are rapidly fading. However, the Lime and Bananas will go out much later if they actually get put out at all. We had such a funny summer last year that they stayed inside the greenhouse all the time. I didnít put my mountain Paw paw out either. This tender little tree I grew from seed, and with itís Fig like leaves and fat bloated trunk that looks like a Baobab tree, it is quite decorative as well as producing edible fruit Ė or at least I hope it will when it matures. They are not very hardy and supposed to fruit at 2 metres, but at the moment it is only about 2 feet.

Now that we are into May and the nights are a bit milder I decided to sow my Runner Beans and climbing French Beans directly into the ground by the canes. They will take a week, or two to germinate, so time will be getting on by then. They are slower to germinate outside, but we have found that any cold and the terrible winds that we often get on our site donít set them back so much then. They soon catch up as well as long as the Mice and Slugs donít get them. They can be a real problem, but if you judge it right the seeds come up quickly and are OK. After the seeds have actually germinated the Mice arenít interested in them and I do use a few Organic Slug Pellets as the plants sprout. The pellets are more expensive, because they are based on a different active chemical called Ferric Phosphate instead of Metaldeyhide. However, they are safer for Children and pets.

I think the Turnip seedlings that I put out on my Allotment earlier in April look a bit sad because of the odd cold nights we had, so I may have to re-sow them and towards the end of May I shall be planting out the more tender vegetables like Cucumbers, Courgettes, Squashes, Cape Gooseberries, Tomatilloes and Tomatoes. One or two plot holders jumped the gun and put out Sweet Corn and Runner Beans before April was up and they lost them. When you have an Allotment you are often keen to get planting with the onset of Spring, but our fickle weather is often cruel to the impatient gardener.

 

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