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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.

There might still be the odd frost about so do watch for that where any tender plants are concerned. On the other hand, weeds will be proliferating and a handy hoe will be needed to suppress the invaders. You can lift and divide clumps of daffodils now and if you’re not quite ready to re-plant them cut the heads off but keep the leaves on and heel them into a temporary stretch of bedding. With the dry spells, we’re having you’ll probably need to water borders and don’t forget containers and pots that quickly dry out.

Installing a water butt to catch rainwater from a shed, outhouse or greenhouse roof is a great way to store water, though you may need to fit some guttering. Bedding plants raised indoors or in the greenhouse can be planted out nearer the end of the month and you can start sowing flower seeds for a summer display.

Pop some Dahlia tubers into pots of compost in the greenhouse or on a warm windowsill and you’ll soon see shoots appearing, ready to plant out in borders or containers. If you want a colourful display in a shady border area plant busy Lizzies and begonias. Cascading begonias in a tall pot make a great show for months to come until the frosts when you can lift and store them for next year.

  • Take softwood cuttings from shrubs and herbs such as rosemary
  • Look out for greenfly on roses and spray where necessary
  • Divide and re-plant hostas as they start into growth
  • Plant out hardy annuals
  • Look out for nesting birds’ nest when clipping hedges
  • Watch out for vine weevils in containers
  • Clear and prepare containers ready for summer displays
  • Open greenhouse doors and windows/vents to let air circulate
  • Trim Alyssum and Aubretia after flowering
  • Harden off plants raised from seed and cuttings

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