This month Head Gardener Imogen Jackson is here with a few bits and bobs to keep you busy and help your gardens to live up to their full potential.
May is one of my favourite times of year in the garden. The weather is often warm and sunny, but not too hot. The soil is starting to warm up, but is not parched and dry. The garden has started to really green up, spring is in the air, and summer just around the corner. Many people are truly treasuring their garden during these times of lockdown, so here’s some pointers to keep you busy and your garden looking great this month!
• Keep weeding. This month weeds will be growing at their fastest, and if you’re not careful setting seeds to spread around your garden. If you are able, leave a corner of your garden to grow wild, as many weeds are simply wild flowers which are hugely beneficial to wildlife of all sorts.
• Deadhead your spring bulbs once they have finished flowering. Allow the green leaves to remain until they have turned yellow as they are essential for sending energy to the bulbs to enable them to flower again next year.
• Clear out spring bedding for summer bedding if you choose to use bedding plants in your displays.
• Prune spring flowering shrubs such as early flowering clematis.
• Keep checking your plants for signs of pests and diseases, as they are generally easier to treat if caught early. Many pests can simply be picked off and moved. Alternatively, make sure you have plenty of plants to encourage beneficial insects and birds and they will take care of the pests for you.
• Towards the end of the month, after your last frost date:
– Plant out dahlias
– Sow and plant out tender vegetables such as courgettes, marrows, runner and French beans, squash and sweetcorn.
• Continue successional sowing to ensure you have a continuous supply of veg such as beetroot, carrots, cabbage, spring onions, lettuce, peas, broad beans and radish.
• Remove strawberry runners so you don’t end up with an untidy mass of strawberries. These can be potted up and given away, kept in pots or planted in another area of your garden.
• Sit and enjoy watching the birds and bees. It can be hugely rewarding, relaxing and enjoyable – get to know their habits, their characters and their families!
We hope you have time to truly appreciate the great outdoors in all its spring beauty this month. And if you haven’t heard about our new fundraising initiative, Grow to Give, simply CLICK HERE to discover how your acts of kindness can make a difference this summer.