May garden advice

May garden advice and maintenance


General gardening

  • Watch out for late frosts. Protect tender plants
  • Earth up potatoes, and plant any still remaining
  • Plant out summer bedding after the last frosts
  • Collect rainwater and investigate ways to recycle water for irrigation
  • Regularly hoe off weeds
  • Lift and divide overcrowded clumps of daffodils and other Spring flowering bulbs
  • Watch out for viburnum beetle and lily beetle grubs, if you find them use an insecticide such as Provado Ultimate Bug Killer
  • Begin to feed houseplants using a liquid fertiliser
  • Continue to plant trees and shrubs
  • Mow the lawn regularly. Be careful to remove the cuttings and apply lawn feed regularly. Use a weed and moss killer where necessary
  • Weed around fruit bushes and strawberries to allow movement of air around the plants
  • Clear out Spring bedding from borders when it fades, and fork in a general fertiliser such as Organic Chicken Manure Pellets or Growmore
  • Ensure newly planted plants are kept watered in dry spells

In the greenhouse

  • Tie in the lengthening growths of vines
  • Continue to plant tomatoes, aubergines and peppers in unheated greenhouses
  • Ventilate well and damp down on sunny days as long as seeds are not being raised
  • Pinch out side shoots of melons and cucumbers when two side shoots have been formed
  • Watch out for pests and treat immediately using either a chemical spray or a biological control

Wildlife gardening

  • Put out nesting boxes for migrant birds arriving in the UK
  • Top up bird feeders and put out food on the ground and on bird tables. Avoid putting large pieces of food out as this may choke young fledglings
  • Keep the bird bath topped up
  • Make a log, twig and/or rock pile to create shelter for wildlife
  • Put up a bat nesting box
  • Plant annuals and perennials that attract bees and butterflies
  • Leave informal hedges un-trimmed for a while to provide food and shelter for wildlife