May gardening guide
May in the garden is a joy to behold with new growth and changes happening every day. Fresh new perennials are flourishing, late Tulips are in full bloom and many shrubs are flowering. Even though May is a hectic time for gardeners, be sure to enjoy the warmer weather by taking time to relax in the beautiful space you are creating.
- Earth up Potatoes to stop them turning green
- Plant out summer bedding at the end of May
- Harden off Dahlias ready for planting outside later on
- Clip your hedges, taking care not to disturb nesting birds
- Mow your lawn every week
- Starting to hoe off weeds more regularly
- Take cuttings of Succulents
- Water the garden in the mornings and evenings
- Pinch our Broad Beans as soon as flowers show
- Be on alert for Viburnum Beetle and Lily Beetle grubs
- Lift and divide congested clumps of bulbs once the leaves have died off
- Clean down garden furniture ready for use because summer is on its way!
- Assess your patio for any uneven stones that will need levelling out so you are ready for BBQ season
- Plant out half hardy perennials such as Salvias, Diascia and Verbena Bonariensis
- Pinch out the tips of Fuchsias to make them bush out and produce more flowers
- Continue to plant out summer bulbs such as Gladioli to enjoy a continuous supply of flowers late in the summer and autumn
- Plant Water Lilies into aquatic baskets and gradually lower them to the correct depth over a few weeks
- Sow sweet corn, French and Runner bean seed into pots in the greenhouse
- Spray your greenhouse with shade paint or put up net shading to prevent overheating
- Lay turf or seed a new lawn, showery conditions are ideal to complete this project now
- Lower the blades on your mower for shorter grass through the summer unless the weather is very dry
- Hoe between all crops, whenever the ground is suitable, to keep weeds at bay
Switching to raised beds will increase production and results in fewer weeds, better drainage and more room for plants. It also reduces soil compaction, requiring less digging.
- Prune some of the old wood from Forsythia, Ribes and other spring shrubs as soon as they have finished flowering
- Prune overgrown Camellias hard back if they have grown out of hand
- Administer the ‘Chelsea Chop’ to late flowering perennials such as Asters, Sedum, Phlox and Rudbeckia by removing two thirds of the new growth
Wildlife and pests
- Make a pile of large stones in a shady part of the garden to give toads and newts somewhere to rest in the shade
- It’s prime time forAsparagus beetles, Aphids, Cabbage worms, Cutworms, Scale, Slugs and Snails so watch out!
- Beware of pale yellow Viburnum Beetle larvae which can badly defoliate plants (you’ll find them underneath tattered leaves)
- Harvest Rhubarb stems that have been forced under jars by gently pulling them away from the crown of the plant