Monty’s Top Ten May Gardening Jobs
With the herbaceous borders growing, the Chelsea Flower Show and the warmer weather; May is most certainly the month in which we can all start feeling a lot more summery again. It’s time to get back into your fair weather habits, whilst also ensuring your summer preparations have started and in some cases finished.
Gardening at this time of year is an absolute pleasure, providing we aren’t hit with a cruel late cold snap. So get out there and enjoy this beautiful late spring month.
Below are my Top May Garden Jobs:
1) Prepare for summer bedding – Spring flowers will begin to die down and need clearing in preparation for summer bedding plants. Also, consider buying your summer plants ready for planting at the end of the month, but keep an eye out for frosty weather.
2) Earth up potatoes – If you’ve grown potatoes this is an important step. It simply involves drawing up mounds of soil around the potato plants to avoid new tubers turning green and poisonous. Check these weekly as when the weather starts to warm up these will grow rapidly.
3) Tie up climbers – With growth well under way, climbers need to be kept under control and given as much support as possible. Use ties, trellis or backing fence to help them flourish.
4) Tomatoes – If you are growing these in the greenhouse, this month is ideal to pot them on, either in larger pots or grow bags. Make sure you keep them well watered and start to tie them up against canes to keep them straight. My top tip is to keep pinching out side shots to keep the plant focused on growing one main stem. If you want to grow them outside start to harden them off towards the end of the month.
5) Watering – Time to get back out there on a regular basis and give the plants the water they need. The trick with watering is to water thoroughly once or twice a week rather than little and often (containers etc do need watering every day).
6) Mowing – Lawn mowing is high on the agenda – leave it too long between cuts and the job becomes much harder, so try to mow weekly. Feed established lawns if you haven’t already done so.
7) Weeding – The warm weather will make this painful job a little easier. Make sure you don’t forget about any ponds you might have. The weeds there are just as damaging. Try and remove weeds before they flower and seed further pesky weeds around your garden, get hoeing.
8) Roses – Keep an eye on roses and treat them as soon as you see a pest or disease, such as black spot or aphids. You can easily use sprays for these but if you’re feeling green simply rub off aphids to kill & dislodge them, remove any leaves on the plant or ground around the Roses that show signs of black spot. Feeding Roses on a regular basis will help keep both of these at bay.
9) Bird Care – Keep feeding and be sure to check hedges for nesting birds before clipping and trimming. If you feed birds on a regular basis in the garden they will become used to this, make sure you keep it up all year round.
10) Pests – As well as the usual slug watch, also keep and eye out for viburnum beetle and lily beetle grubs and use appropriate pesticide to keep them at bay. This month will also see the start of Aphid season, either use sprays to remove these or rub them off with your fingers, if you feel brave enough. My other top tip is to mix up some washing up liquid with water and spray this on to plants, it gives a surface to the leaves that Aphids won’t like.
Summer is coming and hopefully some restful days in the garden when you can enjoy it after all this hard work.
Follow the team and me on Twitter for more helpful tips for your garden @gardens2you
You can check out next months jobs for June if you want to look ahead for more garden tips from me.