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.

Friday 1 May 2020

This Month in Your Garden - May

‘If it’s drama you sigh for, plant a garden and you’ll get it. Edward A. Guest

For many of us with gardens, the current situation has brought us even closer to nature, from listening to the birds to watching bees hover over a flower. Somehow there seems to be that little extra bit of time to observe nature at its finest. So many sunny days and warmth in April have lured the May garden rapidly towards summer and as the bulbs have faded so the herbaceous border is ready to take over and stage the season’s dramas.

The Lawncare Guide - May

Topdressing is the fashion in May

You can still be aerating and scarifying the lawn in May. Choose a dry day and the aeration will relieve the compaction on the lawn and help get air to the roots of the grass. It will also lift moss and thatch which you can scarify away, collecting the debris with the garden tractor, where the brushes will also ‘groom’ the grass, or use a mower.

Lawn Care: Questions & Answers

Q. We have patches of yellow and brown grass appearing when the weather is dry. We don’t have a dog and we’ve been following your aeration and scarifying suggestions. What else could be the cause and what can we do?

The Vegetable Plot - May

Sow by now 

It’s time to reap the rewards of your earlier sowings and harvest spring onions and cabbages sown last year. There’s plenty of sowing to be done to harvest maincrop beetroot, late broccoli, peas and parsley, cucumbers and pumpkins. You can sow Savoy and winter cabbage all in nursery rows, and on to outdoor sowings of cauliflowers, cabbages, Brussels sprouts, parsnips and swedes, along with maincrop carrots for autumn.

The Big Glut Recipe - May

Barbequed courgettes with dill, goat’s cheese, mint and yoghurt

Great as a starter or as a side for lunch, cooked on the BBQ. From House & Garden who got it from The River Cottage Handbook. Photo by Gavin Kingcome.


  • 4–6 medium courgettes
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • ½ tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds, toasted and crushed
  • 3 tbsp natural yoghurt
  • 150g soft goat’s or ewe’s cheese
  • ½ small garlic clove, peeled and grated
  • A small bunch of chives, thinly sliced
  • 6–8 sprigs of dill, chopped, plus extra to garnish
  • 2 tbsp chopped mint, plus whole leaves to garnish
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper