Gardening Advice For May

GARDENING ADVICE FOR MAY

Probably the busiest month of the gardening calendar, when most of us plant out tender bedding plants, summer seeds and vegetable plants such as beans and tomatoes. Established roses, shrubs and herbaceous plants will soon be in bloom and weeds will be running riot in any bare patch of soil. It’s difficult to keep on top of everything, so here are a few guidelines for the most important jobs.

Take care to protect your bedding plants from frosts. Even when the days can seem warm night time temperatures can drop below freezing – so if you have planted out soft bedding remember to cover them with fleece at night.

Don’t forget to protect soft fruit such as currants and gooseberries from bird damage. Cover the plants with garden netting.

Watch out for aphids (greenfly and blackfly) on roses, delphiniums, lupins, foxgloves and pansies. They can multiply with phenomenal speed, so a weekly check throughout the garden is a good idea.

Plant up hanging baskets, patio pots with tender flowers such as fuchsias, geraniums, pelargoniums, busy lizzies, petunias and all manner of trailing plants such as begonia, lobelia, helichrysum and verbena. For magnificent results plant in Britain’s best container compost-Miracle-Gro Moisture Control Compost. This unique Aquacoir formula stores and releases water when the plants need it.

Nows the time to be earthing up your potatoes . When the plants have reached 20-30cm (8-12inches) tall then you need to draw the soil up and around them by scooping it out between the rows and using this soil to almost cover them over. This encourages potatoes to form higher up and ensures that light does not reach the developing tubers and turn them green. Ideally they should be ‘earthed up’ again in about 3 weeks.

Other things to do in the garden in May

  •  Continue sowing veg, particularly salad crops, little and often.
  • Protect young plants and veg from slugs.
  • Trim back the side shoots of gooseberry plants.
  • Feed flowers, fruit and veg with a Slow Release Plant Food.
  • Harvest overwintering onions, early varieties of beetroot and radishes.
  • Once your greenhouse tomatoes have flowers don’t forget to tap them occasionally to help pollination
  • Plant out sweet pea plants.
  • Trim and feed hedges.
  • Clear out and compost spring bedding.
  • Finish planting shrubs.
  • Mow lawns regularly and feed with Aftercut.
  • Spray susceptible roses with rose clear to prevent blackspot, mildew and rust from developing.
  • Support tall perennials to prevent damage
  • Protect young plants from slugs with Slug Attack.

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