What to sow in May

Florence fennel

Perfectto sow in May.  This crop really doesn’t like root disturbance so either sow direct into well-prepared garden soil, choosing a fertile soil in a sheltered spot, or, if the weather is at all iffy and you want to gain some time, sow into individual cells in a greenhouse or sunny windowsill. The seed needs to be only about 1.5mm deep and, if sowing direct you will need to thin out the seedlings to about 30cm apart.


This is the start of the coriander sowing season for me, and it works really well  for the next few months. Right now, I suggest sowing the seeds into pots of good quality multi-purpose or seed and cuttings compost, and keeping them on a warm, sunny window sill. Cover the seed with 5-6mm of fine compost and water from the base of the pot so that the seeds don’t get displaced. The seedlings should appear in a week or two. If you want to sow coriander direct into garden soil, this should work this month, as long as  conditions have warmed up, but if in doubt, consider covering the sown areas with a cloche.

Borlotti beans

With their stunningly coloured pods, Borlotti beans are great to look at and to eat – either using the dried beans from mature pods as ‘haricot’ beans in casseroles, or harvesting the pods when tender for eating whole.

So the seeds now in Rootrainers or trays of good quality compost, or you can also sow them  direct in to the garden soil now and  until mid-July. In about three months you should be able to harvest the first pods, maybe sooner!.

Sarah Talbot