What's in season: May

Visitors looking at asparagus growing in the Kitchen Garden in June at Beningbrough Hall, North Yorkshire
Britain is home to the best asparagus in the world National Trust Images / John Millar

In May, you can taste the fruits of your labour from the last couple of months. And it's the start of the best season for easy growing. 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

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.
It's time to sow the following outdoors: beetroot, broad beans, carrots, chard, fennel, kale, lettuce, parsnips, peas, spinach, rocket, swede and turnips. You can sow these under glass: courgettes, cucumbers, squashes and pumpkins, sweetcorn and tomatoes (outdoors).
Plant / transplant the following outside: cabbage (summer), globe artichokes, Jerusalem artichokes, early brassicas, onions and potatoes. Planting/transplanting the following under glass: aubergines, cucumbers and tomatoes.