Garden – Jobs for May
spring has well and truly arrived and the “beasts from the East”
are now distant memories. April had a cold start that has further
shortened our growing season but, the days are longer, hopefully
warmer and the soil will have warmed, so there is plenty to do in the
garden. The risk of frost should pass by the end of May. Now is
the time to harden off any frost sensitive plants and start sowing
outdoors. Keep on top of weeds with regular hoeing and not allowing
them to become established.
Vegetable Patch in May
vegetable seed outdoors
weather will have raised the soil temperature so seed will germinate
quickly. Sow after the risk of frosts. Sow carrots, lettuce, peas,
beetroot, French beans, runner beans, radish, spinach, turnips.
frost sensitive crops under glass
pumpkin, cucumber and sweetcorn require very warm temperatures to
germinate. Do not plant ot too early, as they are fast growing and
cannot be planted out until all frosts have gone. Better still grow
them on in an unheated greenhouse if you can.
tomatoes, peppers, chillies, and capsicum into their final positions
in the greenhouse borders, or into pots or grow bags.
off plants outdoors
grown indoors or in the greenhouse will benefit from being hardened
off outside for a week or so before planting. Place in a warm sunny
sheltered spot during the day, bringing back inside late afternoon.
Gradually extend their presence outside and acclimatise to cooler
shoots have reached 23cm (9in) tall, earth up to prevent greening of
up supports for beans and peas
supports for runner and climbing French beans. These can be wigwams
or double rows of bamboo canes tied together at the top. Provide
support for peas.
herbs in containers
grow very well in containers. Put them on your patio where they are
easy to get to from your kitchen. Sow basil and coriander once all
frosts have passed. Thyme, rosemary, parsley, chive, mint, sage and
oregano are all hardy.
blackfly from broad beans
out for blackfly around the tops of the broad beans. Pinch out the
tops if this is a problem.
out swede, sprouts, curly kale, winter cabbage and leeks plus any
other favourites. Protect young plants from marauding pigeons.
Fruit Garden in May
strawberries in hanging baskets
grow very well in hanging baskets. They look pretty and the fruit is
away from slugs and snails. Learn more about growing
strawberries in hanging baskets.
fruit blossom from late frosts
blossom (such as strawberries, blackcurrants, and cherries) can be
damaged by frosts so protect by covering with horticultural fleece.
strawberries on the ground
clean straw beneath strawberry plants. This keeps the fruit clean and
dry, preventing soil splash when it rains, and also helps to
discourage slugs. Cover with fleece or netting to protect against
greenhouse doors on warm days
can get very hot when the sun is shining. Open the doors to allow
cooler air and pollinating insects inside.
will be growing strongly so continue to mow according to your routine
and preferred blade height. Usually a cut every two weeks is
sufficient just now. From end of May, treated (fed) lawns need
cutting every seven days to keep them looking good. Lawns fed in
April will require another application mid to late June. May is a
good month to re-lay or lay new lawns either from seed or turf.
Continue with lawn weed eradication.
out summer bedding into borders, pots and hanging baskets. Protect
sensitive plants until risk of frost has passed. Harden off plants
before planting out. Apply a dressing of general purpose fertiliser
to all areas that are to be planted at a rate of 70 grams per square
metre. Liquid feeds for pots and baskets are also very effective.
and snails will be in abundance on damp warm evenings, take
precautions to avoid damage to ornamentals and summer bedding. Snails
will strip a bed of Marigolds in an evening if left unchecked. Better
dead snails than dead plants.
grown tomatoes are subject to Whitefly attacks late August. There is
no pesticide available to control this pest. Planting some Marigolds
in the greenhouse orders or pots will help to deter them.
Gardening Jobs in May
is a good time to tidy up and organise your shed than on a warm
spring day, ready for the busy season ahead. Clean and sharpen tools
to make tasks easier in the months ahead.
Michael Gourlay Chairman