Harvesting rhubarb stems from base of plant

Five crops to harvest in May

Find out which crops you can harvest in May, including tasty garlic and rhubarb.

Plenty of crops can be harvested in May, from sweet strawberries to fresh broad beans. Some crops, including salad crops, are ready within a few weeks after an earlier spring sowing, while others are ready to harvest from sowings made the previous summer. Perennials like rhubarb, globe artichokes and asparagus crop reliably each year.

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Sowing and planting regularly from now on will provide you with a continuous harvest through to autumn.

Here are five crops to harvest in May.


1

Mizuna

Harvesting young mizuna leaves with a knife
Harvesting young mizuna leaves with a knife

Despite delicate appearances, mizuna is a fast-growing, vigorous grower that makes an ideal cut and come again crop. Use the spicy leaves in stir-fries and salads, and keep sowing in batches every few weeks for successional crops.

2

Garlic

A crop of garlic
A crop of garlic

If you thought shop-bought garlic was flavoursome, then wait until you’ve tried homegrown cloves. Here’s how to lift and harvest garlic, without damaging the bulbs.

3

Spring cabbages

Spring cabbages in rows, ready to harvest
Spring cabbages in rows, ready to harvest

Sown in the previous summer, overwintered spring cabbages should be ready to harvest in May. Harvest them by cutting through the stem below the head, using a sharp knife.

4

Globe artichokes

A globe artichoke developing on its plant
A globe artichoke developing on its plant

With a lovely, nutty flavour, artichokes are a real treat. For the highest-quality crop, aim to keep 4-6 artichokes per crown by cutting off any others as they form. When ready to harvest, remove the heads by cutting off the buds with secateurs.

5

Rhubarb

Harvesting rhubarb stems from base of plant
Harvesting rhubarb stems from base of plant

Though easy to grow, there are some important things to remember when harvesting rhubarb. It’s important not to pick rhubarb if still it it’s first year, as it will need more time to establish. Be sure not to eat the poisonous leaves.


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Crimson blooms of Geum 'Mrs J Bradshaw' in a colourful border
Crimson blooms of Geum ‘Mrs J Bradshaw’ in a colourful border
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