Everything’s growing! It’s May in the garden.
May is a wonderful month in the garden because there is so much happening. New foliage on trees and shrubs is starting to open and the last of the spring bulbs give their final performance before dying down for the summer. There’s also lots of blossom around and my favourite at this time of the year is apple blossom which looks stunning on a sunny day. It’s a good time to be out in the garden and plan what you want to grow for the season ahead
Here are a few of the jobs I’ll be doing this month.
- Lawns are making good growth now and to keep them in good condition all through the summer it pays to feed with a granular lawn fertiliser. It you have a few weeds in the lawn you can apply a weed ‘n’ feed. This will get rid of unwanted broadleaved weeds and keep the grass green and healthy.
- Through May pieris put on a lovely display of bright red new foliage, but should we get a late frost, the tender new growth will be damaged. To protect the red shoots, if a night forecast, cover the shrub over with some garden fleece to protect it.
- If you have a greenhouse now is the time to plant tomatoes and cucumbers to provide a crop through the summer. You can grow the plants in pots of compost or into the greenhouse border where they will quickly establish. In warm, moist growing conditions the plants will soon settle in and grow away.
- In warm soil conditions weeds grow and establish very quickly. The best way to deal with weeds is to hoe through borders every couple of weeks to chop off the tiny seedlings as they start to push through the soil. Even if weeds are not visible, hoeing the soil surface will disturb seeds as they start to germinate meaning your borders stay weed free.
- May is the time when we plant up summer hanging baskets and the garden centres of full of plants at the moment. For something a little different, why not plant a herb basket with a selection of different herbs to provide scent and colour. Not only will this look attractive through the summer, the herbs can also be picked and used in the kitchen.
- Evergreen shrubs can be pruned or trimmed now to keep them bushy and compact, but before you start check to make sure there are no birds nesting in the shrub.