Garden Tasks For May
Pot up dahlias and tender exotics such as Canna for planting out as soon as the risk of frost has passed.
Divide herbaceous perennials now to improve their vigour and create new plants.
After aubrieta, alyssum and candytuft have flowered , trim them back to encourage fresh new growth and more flowers.
Look after your spring flower bulbs once they have finished flowering, Don't be tempted to cut down or tie up the foliage of spring-flowering bulbs, let them die down naturally. The bulbs need to grow and swell up their storage for next year’s flowers.
Don’t let Forget-Me-Not go to seed otherwise they will be everywhere next year. Lift the plants now .
Tie in your sweet peas with plant support rings to encourage them to climb.
Top-dress permanent pot plants to refresh the compost and add for a fully balanced feed. We use Chempak Fully Balanced Feed - Formula 3
Vine weevil can sometimes cause quite a problem so the biological nematode control is an easy solution - simply mix into a solution and water plants when larvae are active (soil temperature should approximately be above 5ºC/40ºF).
Earth up potatoes with soil as they grow so that the early stems are not hit by frost.
Remember when picking rhubarb, pick only a third of the total number of stems so as to not take all the energy from the stool. .
Pot up tomatoes, cucumbers, courgettes and pumpkins in the greenhouse.
Plant out cabbages, broccoli, brussels sprouts ,cauliflower, and leeks to their final positions in the garden.
Continue to sow vegetable seeds either outside or under cloches broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, peas, lettuce, radish, spinach and swede.
Pinch out the growing points of broad beans as soon as beans start to appear at the base of the plant to reduce the risk of blackfly attack.
Weed your onions and garlic to reduce competition for nutrients and water.
Applying an onion fertiliser will boost growth. We use Chempak Organic Onion Feed.
Sow seed outdoors of the hardy annuals ,Calendula ,Californian Poppy ,Larkspur ,Nasturtium ,night scented stock .
Plant up pots and baskets of summer bedding and harden off before placing in position. In cold areas wait until June.
- Prune spring-flowering shrubs after flowering.
- Cut back flowered shoots of Choisya to promote a second flush of flowers in autumn.
- Trim lavender plants now, cutting off any old flower heads and about 2.5cm (1 inch) of the current year's growth.
- Feed and water container plants.
- Top-dress permanent pot plants to refresh the compost.
- Give your container plants a liquid feed every weeks to promote healthy growth. Chempak Tomato is high in potash which will help produce flowers and fruit.
- Plant up pots and baskets of summer bedding and harden off before placing in position. In cold areas wait until June.
- Start to closely inspect your plants for pests and diseases - early prevention is easier than curing an infestation.
- Pick off larvae of rosemary, viburnum and lily beetles as soon as they are seen.
- Spray roses with Sulphur Rose to prevent blackspot.
- Continue to weed beds and borders to prevent competition for water and nutrients.
- Use 8ft (2.4m) bamboo canes to make supports for your runner beans.
- Support your pea plants with twiggy sticks or pea netting.
- Be vigilant with weeding - weeds will compete for precious water, light and nutrients.
Remove blossom and fruits from newly
planted fruit trees to allow them to establish properly during the
first year.Surround strawberries with straw to
protect fruit. Net them to keep birds off of the fruit.
Regularly check the centre of your gooseberry bushes for the green gooseberry sawfly caterpillars. They will quickly skeletonise the leaves if not removed. Use Nemasy’s Natural fruit and Veg Protections to control caterpillars and gooseberry Saw fly.
Erect netting around your soft fruit plants to prevent birds eating your crop.