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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.


Now is a good time to take soft cuttings if you want to propagate shrubs and herbs and other general jobs, when you’re not planting and sowing, will include hoeing weeds, treating roses for greenfly (one old tip is to spray with a solution of Fairy Liquid) or hang some birdfeeders near the roses to encourage blue tits and sparrows to feed on them (the greenfly that is).  

  • Open greenhouse doors and vents to circulate air
  • Plant up Dahlia tubers ready to plant out in June
  • Collect rainwater for recycling 
  • Apply organic slug pellets to protect plants and vegetables
  • A good time to start a pond and aquatics
  • Shade plants in the greenhouse
  • Plants for colour in shade include busy lizzies, begonias, coleus, lobelia, mimulus, 
  • Plant petunias and salvias in drifts between shrubs and in herbaceous borders
  • Plant out summer bedding at the end of the month


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