The month of May is typically a busy one in the garden as the final preparations before Summer are made. Here are our top tips for things to do in the garden this month.
There is still a risk of a late frost so don’t plant out tender plants or saplings yet. Leave them out during the day to harden them and bring them in at night. Towards the middle of the month you should be able to leave them out overnight and then plant out into beds.
Carry on with the tidying in the garden. Paint or treat sheds and fences, hoe borders and beds to remove weeds before they take hold. Regular weeding reduces the competition with plants for moisture and nutrients in the soil. This is particularly important in raised beds and pots which tend to dry out quicker. You can also lower the blades on your mower for a shorter cut of the lawn, leaving it neat and tidy.
Rather than exclusively using your outside tap over the Summer, why not invest in a water butt or two to collect rain water for use during dry spells over the warmer months. These are best places under a gutter downpipe, which will funnel water from the roof of the house or shed directly in to the water butt. Stand it on a couple of bricks or supports to make using the tap at the base easier.
This month is the last chance to add a good dose of fertilizer and mulch before the growth of plants and shrubs really takes off, making it difficult to reach all parts of the beds. Add a general purpose fertilizer and then a layer of mulch (garden compost, leaf mould or manure) over the topsoil all over the bed. Also add a high-nitrogen fertilizer to the lawn to encourage healthy growth.
Remove moss, grass and weeds from paths and driveways. Fill any gaps in the mortar with fresh cement to prevent re-growth.
There is still time this month to divide herbaceous perennials to create new plants and encourage growth.
Let Spring-flowering bulbs die down rather than cutting or tying them. This will encourage nutrients back in to the bulb for next year. You can deadhead flowers that are past their best, but just cut the head off rather than the stem. You can also divide the bulbs whilst the foliage is still present, so that you have a better spread and strong growth of these plants next year.
Remove duckweed and blanketweed from ponds. Lay the weed next to the pond overnight to allow any animals caught in it to escape back in to the pond.
As we are experiencing warmer days, make sure you water pot plants and containers well to prevent them drying out. Also ventilate your greenhouse to prevent over-heating and use blinds or other shades to try and maintain the temperature inside. Damp down the greenhouse to maintain humidity levels.
It’s time for the creepy crawlies to reappear – check plants for pests and diseases to try to clear them early on, rather than once they become more established
Need some storage space in your garden for tools? Below are a couple of our favourite outdoor storage solutions from our store. Happy gardening!
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