May – the month when (hopefully!) we can start getting away from home a little more as lockdown restrictions are eased once more. Whilst we might be away more, the garden will not wait, especially not at the height of spring! Let’s look at the main jobs that will be keeping gardeners busy in May.
Top jobs this month
1. As spring bulbs begin to fade away, May is the month when our borders will spring into life with herbaceous plants. Bolster your plant stock by sowing seeds directly into your flowerbeds whilst also planting out bedding plants.
2. Grow-Your-Own lovers can now plant out seeds for beetroot, sweetcorn, cucumber, sprouting broccoli and carrots.
3. Earth up your potatoes – this process basically means mounding soil around the base of your potato plants once they reach 10cm in height. This process means that more of the plant is underground, thereby increasing the amount of potatoes that can grow. Repeat the process every few weeks until harvest time.
4. As the days are getting longer and warmer, remember to water in the mornings and evening to avoid evaporation.
5. Protect pollinators such as bees and butterflies by planting plant nectar and pollen-rich herbs such as borage, chives, lavender, rosemary and oregano in a sunny spot.
6. Dig up and divide any overcrowded clumps of daffodils and other spring bulbs.
7. Bird and wildlife will start to become more active in May. Birds will be busy feeding their young and hedgehogs will be getting prepped for mating season. This month you should avoid trimming hedges to prevent nests and other ‘homes’ being disturbed. Birds will welcome extra food, whilst bugs and creepy crawlies will enjoy a new home to live into so a few piles of twigs, leaves and stones will quickly become an insect hotel.
8. May is the month when lawn care really comes into its own as grass loves the warmer weather! A weekly mow will keep your lawn looking shipshape.
9. Where climbing plants such as clematis, wisteria and honeysuckle, have grown news shoots, make sure you tie this into the plant supports to ensure a tidy growth.
10. Check lilies and fritillaries for scarlet lily beetles and their larvae, as they can rapidly strip plants of all foliage.
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