What to do in the garden in May

9 May 2017


There are few better months to be in the garden than May, when further frosts are unlikely, blossoms are bursting, bees are buzzing and it’s good to be alive. Here are a few of the jobs to get on with this month:

General tasks:

Mow the lawn regularly removing clippings and adding them to the compost bin. In dry weather let short clippings stay on the lawn to reduce drought damage.

Install water butts to make the most of rainfall and recycle water for irrigation – even a shed roof can help build up water supplies to help you through drought.

Start planting your summer bedding and fork in a fertiliser, clearing out any spring bedding as it fades.

Water all flowers, trees and plants well in the case of a dry spell (fingers crossed!)

Keep applying a weed killer and fertiliser combination to your lawns or spot treat as an alternative.

Ventilate your green house well and damp down on sunny days as long as seed are not being raised.

Check carefully for nesting birds before clipping hedges.

Ornamental gardens:

Treat yourself to waterlily as it’s the perfect time to plant them in your ponds! Plant shallow at first, then lower deeper in the pond as the stems get longer.

Revamp containers emptying out winter bedding displays, removing the topmost compost and replacing with fresh before replanting.

Cut back early-flowering perennials such as doronicum, dicentra and pulmonarias once they finish flowering.

Deadhead spring bulbs (but do not cut the foliage back yet)

Prune spring-flowering shrubs to prevent them from becoming overgrown.

Kitchen garden:

Thin seedlings of direct-sown vegetables to leave 5-10cm between each seedling (depending on variety).

Keep carrots covered with horticultural fleece to make it impossible for carrot fly to find them.

Finish sowing tender veg like French beans on a warm windowsill or in a greenhouse.

Mulch around strawberries to prevent the fruit being spoiled. Use a straw or black polythene.

Destroy any peach and nectarine leaves affected by leaf curl.

Harvest any early Rhubarb.

Plant a main crop of potatoes and/or earth up any early crop potatoes.

Remember to visit Pugh's in either Radyr or Wenvoe to chat to our friendly and knowledgeable staff for any advice on your garden this year!