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Gardening Jobs

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 yellowing.

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 month.

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 up.

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 cover.

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, sunny days.

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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