Continue weeding and mulching. Its not a
race so do a section of the garden, large or small thats you to you
and then Put supports in place for perennials that need it before
they get too large.
Lift and divide over crowded clumps of spring
flowering bulbs after they have flowered and leaves are
A good time to introduce new plants to ponds.
Make sure you use aquatic compost in baskets and rise baskets can
be raised up on bricks when first introduced then slowly lower to
their final depths as they increase in size
Plant out frost tender plants such as Cannas
and dahlias. In frost prone areas leave until the end of the
Check whether containers need watering. Aim to
keep pots moist, not wet, and don't let them dry out. Pots and tubs
benefit from topping up with fresh compost. Old compost can be
removed and replaced with new if there is not much room for topping
Take softwood cuttings of deciduous shrubs.
Hardy annuals can be sown in pots or modules
and as the month progresses outside. Remember to thin out direct
sowing to their final spacings.
Prune evergreen hedges and prune spring-flowering
shrubs after flowering. Don't prune anything that has
birds nesting in it.
Sow French beans, runner beans, squash,
cucumbers and pumpkin seeds directly into prepared beds outside. Be
alert to late frosts (for which a covering of horticultural fleece
should provide sufficient protection).
Sow cauliflowers, purple sprouting broccoli
& Brussels sprouts for harvesting next winter.
After all risk of frost has passed, plant out
tomatoes, courgettes and pumpkins that were previously sown under
Earth up potatoes (leaving just 5cm (2in) of
shoot uncovered so that the plant has enough foliage to continue
growing), when the shoots are 23cm (9in) high.
Pot up houseplants showing signs of being
rootbound or top dress large containers with fresh compost.
Apply shading to the outside of the glass or
use blinds on sunny days to prevent temperatures from soaring. Open
doors and vent on greenhouses to increase ventilation on warm,
Damp down the floor of the greenhouse regularly
on hot days, to increase humidity levels. This benefits plant
growth and also reduces the risk of pest problems such as
glasshouse red spider mite.
Avoid peanuts and large chunks when putting out
food for the birds, as there is a risk that large pieces could be
fed to their fledglings, and this could result in choking.
Ensure birdbaths are kept topped up. Do be
aware of hygiene: change the water regularly and scrub the bath out
with a mild detergent (available from bird food suppliers) to help
prevent the spread of disease.
Put out log and twig piles made from old
prunings and felled trees. These provide valuable shelter for
wildlife. Position in quiet parts of the garden.
Back to the
Gardens in May
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