• Katy Gardener

Ten jobs in the garden for May

Updated: May 1, 2020

Hooray for May! What a brilliant time of the year. Longer days, warmer temperatures and summer just around the corner.

To keep on top of your garden this month follow these simple suggestions:

1. Sort out your bulbs

If your spring bulbs have been growing in containers, I would cut your losses. Have a Marie Kondo moment of bowing and then chucking. You will gain a fresh container to fill up with colourful bedding plants or summer bulbs like lilies or dahlias.

If your spring bulbs have been growing in your flower bed let them die down on their own. Cutting them back yourself could kill them off completely. Add a generous glug of liquid fertiliser around the clumps and you will have an even better display next year.

2. Defeat the weeds!

Left to their own devices, weeds go berserk at this time of the year. Build in a daily routine of walking around the garden to pick out bindweed, ground elder, dock leaves and dandelions.

3. Keep Watering

Your flower and vegetable beds need more watering than ever at this time of the year. On hot days optimise your regime by watering first thing in the morning and again at the end of the day. Try to look at watering as a productive, mindful exercise!

4. Continue with the weekly mow

Growth really picks up in May, so a weekly mow will keep your lawn looking neat and tidy.

5. Clean your greenhouse and open vents on hot days

A clean greenhouse greatly improves growing conditions for your plants and stops unwanted pests moving in. On hot days open the vents to make sure air circulates. Your plants will thank you for it.

6. Plant out

If you have been busy growing at home, now’s the time to plant out your sweet peas and sunflowers as well as vegetable seedlings. Hopefully in the next week or so, your local garden centre will reopen which is a good opportunity to pick up summer bedding plants to brighten up a border.

7. Trim your lavender plants

Grab your snippers and cut off old flower heads. This will encourage new growth and bushy plants later in the summer.

8. Don’t forget your container plants

Plants in containers have less access to moisture so need to be fed and watered regularly. Use a liquid feed every two weeks to encourage vigorous growth.

9. Keep on top of slugs

Young plants are very vulnerable to slugs. Try to use organic ways of getting rid of them. See this post for inspiration.

10. Trim your hedge

If you have a box hedge start to trim it by hand this month. Hand shears cut leaves cleanly, so are better than a mechanical trimmer. Don't cut back too hard, give the hedge a regular trim to keep it in good shape.

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