What to do this Month – May
- Sow French beans, runner beans, squash, cucumbers and pumpkin seeds directly into prepared beds outside. Be alert to late frosts (for which a covering of horticultural fleece should provide sufficient protection).
- Sow sweet corn outside in blocks, at least 45cm (18in) spacing, with two seeds per hole. The strongest seedling can be selected later.
- Sow cauliflowers and purple sprouting broccoli for harvesting next winter.
- After all risk of frost has passed, plant out tomatoes, courgettes and pumpkins that were previously sown under cover.
- Other young plants can be planted out once conditions are suitable, and once they’ve been hardened off (acclimatised to the colder outdoor conditions) for 10 to 14 days.
- Plant out alpine strawberry seedlings sown in early spring.
- Sow outdoor melons in a heated propagator.
- Thin out crowded raspberry shoots.
- Thin gooseberries if you want large fruit.
These tips have been taken from the Royal Horticultural Society, Grow your own section. Full details can be seen at