Gardening in May

1) Plant now

Summer flowering bulbs e.g. Dahlias, Gladioli, Begonias, Lilies and bedding plants into tubs and baskets – protect if signs of late frosts.

2) Sow

Sweet peas outdoors or plant young plants that were sown earlier indoors in March. Look around for slugs and snails where you may be planting and use some slug pellets or wood pellets to deter them.

3) In your borders

Cut down old stems of sedums to allow new growth to grow up through from the base. Lift and divide old clumps of perennials e.g. montbretia

4) Veg Garden

Sow broad beans, peas, carrots and some late parsnips.

Plant out potatoes that have grown strong new shoots earlier last month.

Use cloches to protect young plants from pigeons. Use deterrents to scare them off – old CDs hanging between bamboo canes.

5) Lawns

A good time to re-seed bare patches on your lawn. Use some good topsoil and fresh season grass seed. Sprinkle some ‘Growmore’ fertiliser around to give the new grass a good start for the year.

6) Trees etc.

Prune back bush roses to strong stems lower down about a third of last years growth.

Prune stems of dogwoods down to 2-3” (5-7cm) to encourage new growth and more colourful plants.

Plant out new climbing plants such as honeysuckles and jasmine. Put more stakes around plants to help support them when the new growth starts e.g. Paeonia, Phlox, Lupins and Delphinium.

Feeding: use ‘Fish, Blood & Bone’ around the base of your shrubs and trees, spring rain will water this into the soil to give your plants a good start to the gardening year. Healthy plants will naturally ward off pests and disease.