Gardening in May
We’ve put together a detailed list of jobs that can be done whilst you’re gardening in May:
It’s time to start planting (under cloches) dwarf French beans, beetroot, sprouting broccoli, brussel sprouts, summer and savoy cabbage, cauliflower, ridge cucumbers, endive, kale, kohl rabi, lettuce, marrows, peas, radish, spinach, swede, sweet corn and turnips.
For an early crop of beans, plant French and runner beans in pots in the greenhouse or on a windowsill.
Clear away spring bedding plants that have stopped flowering. Plant out your summer flowers and weed regularly to keep everything looking nice and tidy. It’s unlikely, but if a frost is predicted, cover your plants with a warm fleece to protect them.
Lift and divide overcrowded clumps of Daffodils and other spring-flowering bulbs. Remove any dead leaves as you spot them. And remember, this is your last opportunity to plant summer-flowering bulbs.
Container plants need regular watering during spring and summer as the soil can dry out very quickly. Place your hanging baskets outside and water daily. If you’d prefer you can buy pre-planted hanging baskets at Homebase.
To lower humidity, keep vents and windows open in the summer. This will help to keep plants cool and prevent heat damage.
Trim and tidy up hedges now. Brush off trimmings to prevent the spread of fungal diseases. Don’t forget to check for nesting birds before clipping hedges.
Try growing basil, mint, parsley or thyme. After planting, place in a sunny spot near the kitchen so they’re handy when cooking.
If your houseplants are looking tired, check for bugs. It’s really important that you inspect your plants regularly and remove pests with an organic soft soap spray.
Continue to cut the grass weekly and give it another feed if necessary. Tidy up the lawn and, if any patches look bare or damaged, do a spot of re-planting.
Tie up climbing roses so that their stems are almost horizontal. This will encourage side-shoots and produce more flowers for you. Don’t forget to fertilise your roses.
Add some colour to your patio with shrubs in pots. Make sure you choose a large enough pot to hold them all and feed plants with a slow-release fertiliser before planting. Water and feed regularly if required.
Bring the wow factor to your garden with a Japanese Maple (Acer). These stunning trees turn a beautiful shade of gold and red in the autumn, and the new growth in late spring has a really vibrant colour too. Available in selected Homebase stores in April & May.
Plant celery seedlings from now until June in a sunny spot and get any dwarf and runner beans directly in the ground. Continue to plant beetroot and courgette seeds. And if you’re growing carrots, put a shield around your seedlings to prevent carrot fly. Plant out tomatoes into the garden.