What's in season: May

Some fresh asparagus from the garden on sale in our shop © Janet Baxter

Some fresh asparagus from the garden on sale in our shop

Gardens and allotments should be a joy this month, and grocers' shelves bursting with delicious local produce.

May is a great time to start to taste the fruits of your labour over the last couple of months, though it really is only the tip of the iceburg - for the next few months, eating local and seasonal food will be really rather easy...

May is the best month for asparagus

  • British asparagus is widely acknowledged as the best in the world, however it has a very short window, and miss it and you'll end up eating asparagus with much less flavour.
  • The beauty of asparagus is that you don't have to slave over a hot stove. Asparagus is classically enjoyed, simply steamed al dente with butter or a hollandaise sauce.

Also in season
So time to get some fresh flavours in - cauliflower, cucumber, curly lettuce, rhubarb and spinach.

Watch our recipe for delicious spring vegetable soup.

Jobs for the garden
There's a lot to be getting on with in the garden to ensure that the good food doesn't stop...
Begin to move young plants outside to start hardening them off, keeping an eye on the soil and watering if it becomes dry. Mulch when the soil is moist to help retain water, hoeing regularly to keep on top of weeds. Keep an eye out for signs of pests and disease - especially under cloches.

Sowing beetroot, broad beans, carrots, chard, fennel, kale, lettuce, parsnips, peas, spinach, rocket, swede and turnips outside. Sowing under glass courgettes, cucumbers, squashes and pumpkins, sweetcorn and tomatoes (outdoor).

Planting/transplanting cabbage (summer), globe artichokes, Jerusalem artichokes, early brassicas, onions and potatoes outside. Planting/transplanting under glass aubergines, cucumbers and tomatoes.

What's in season: June