Here’s What You Can Prepare In Your Garden This May
Need ideas for the garden? Here’s what you can start planting and prepping in May:
- Prune back spring-flowering shrubs such as flowering currant and forsythia.
- Watch out for late frosts. Protect tender plants.
- Plant clematis to swarm up old fruit trees, disguise fences, or even add colour on a patio, over a support in a large container.
- Earth up potatoes, and promptly plant any still remaining.
- Buy a sweet pea six-pack and plant singly at the base of U-shaped canes or wigwams; for tabletop sweet peas, buy short-stemmed dwarf varieties that are perfect for pots, such as Knee High.
- Plant out summer bedding at the end of the month. Water early and late to get the most out of your water, recycle water when possible.
- Regularly hoe off weeds and open greenhouse vents and doors on warm days.
- Mow lawns weekly, be sure to check for nesting birds before clipping any hedges.
- Lift and divide overcrowded clumps of daffodils and other spring-flowering bulbs. Watch out for viburnum beetle and lily beetle grubs
- Courgettes are easy to grow and offer big yields for little outlay: push one seed sideways into a cardboard tube filled with compost; plant out when frost risk has passed. Tube will rot in the soil and roots will remain intact.
- Transform a terrace, patio or sides of garden steps with pots of bedding. Low-maintenance: pelargoniums, verbenas, fuchsia and New Guinea busy lizzies.
- Buy seed packets of contrasting shades and textures of leaves corn salad, frilly lettuce, chives, coriander and sprinkle seeds on to compost in a seed tray, in broad stripes; keep moist and in light shade. Start picking leaves when small, three to four weeks after sowing.
- Use water-retaining gel in containers to save on watering.