The Gardener's Journal is a free monthly gardening guide delivered direct to your inbox.

Each month, receive tips on the top jobs needed in your garden as well as a wealth of information on a range of gardening topics. From sowing seeds to picking fruit, each month get access to information on the care and maintenance of your flowerbeds, vegetable plot and lawn. As with your own gardening diary, the journal is split into separate sections, each covering a different area of garden care.

Thursday 5 May 2016

This Month in your Garden - May

But the merriest month in all the year is the merry month of May

Ballads: Robin Hood and the Three Squires

The May Queen and the May Day holiday on the first of the month are for us gardeners sure heralds that spring is rolling into summer. There was a TV mini-series back in the 80’s called Frost in May which was an intriguing title, but it does happen so keep an eye on tender plants. That said the Bank Holiday weekend onwards is traditionally a good time to be down at the garden centre picking up ideas for splashes of colour roaming through summer borders.

By mid month it should be time to lift any daffodils, tulips and hyacinths from borders and containers for storage until autumn or, if you’re leaving them where they are give them a good feed of fertilizer such as fish, blood and bone meal or pelleted chicken manure which will also feed shrubs and plants in the borders. Leave the foliage for at least six weeks to die back as it is feeding the bulbs. A feed of Tomorite is good for bulbs in pots and containers.

Lawn Care Guide - May

Beat the weeds

By now you’ll be mowing as the grass dictates, reducing the cutting height to the summer cut as required. We’ve had more than our fair share of rain in April and in many areas the water has remained on the surface, especially where the sub soil is clay or if the lawn needs spiking and aerating.

With the wet and warmth a number of problems with the lawn may be occurring about this time and last month we looked at treatment for moss and thatch; and you may well have applied a three in one lawn feed, weed and moss killer, selective weedkiller or used an organic treatment. Good lawn management can preclude the need to use weedkiller and that leads to a number of considerations.

Lawn Care: Questions & Answers

Q.  We have patches of lawn that are starting to go yellow, what could be causing it?

The Vegetable Plot - May

Grow your own way

There’s a great deal of pleasure to be had from growing your own vegetables and fine days in Maycan only enhance the experience. Choose a warm spot for the French beans and put in your main crop of runner beans about now.

Sow late broccoli, peas, maincrop beetroot, dwarf beans, sweet corn and plant out winter greens such as Brussels sprouts and cauliflower that are hardened off.

The Big Glut Recipe - May

May’s asparagus with harissa butter and coriander gremolata

Nice as a starter or as a side dish for six people, seasonal asparagus with a little kick from the harissa.


  • 100g butter, at room temperature
  • 3½ teaspoons rose harissa
  • A pinch of salt
  • Squeeze of lime juice
  • 30 asparagus spears

For the gremolata

  • 1 small clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh coriander
  • Zest of 2 limes, removed in strands