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May in the Garden

Summer is on its way and this month is a really busy one for gardeners.  It’s time to get back into the lawn mowing and weeding regimes, time to get summer bedding planted out in borders and pots and time to plant out young veg plants & seedlings. It’s also the month to take softwood cuttings and to prune spring flowering shrubs like broom and forsythia. So plenty to do! It’s also a good time to take stock of your borders by dividing clumps of spring bulbs and transplanting elsewhere if needed. Fill in gaps with hardy annuals, like Alliums, Nasturtiums and Cottage Flower Mixes.

If that’s not enough here are a few more jobs to keep you even busier, plus some tips to help your garden bloom all summer.
  • Earth up potatoes and plant any still remaining
  • Regularly hoe weeds as they will fight for water and nutrients
  • Watch out for late frosts and protect tender plants with fleece.
  • Check for nesting birds before clipping hedges.
  • Give your lawn a boost with a feed like Aftercut.
  • Sow salad leaves, beetroot, spring onions in the veg plot and pumpkins, courgettes in the greenhouse.
  • Start picking rhubarb
  • Keep a look out for slugs who will love your young plants – try an organic killer
  • Give your beds and borders a feed with something like Blood, Fish and Bone.
  • Make up your hanging baskets but protect till all danger of frosts has gone.
  • Divide herbaceous plants to create new ones.
  • Tie in climbing and rambling roses laying stems horizontally for more flowers.
  • Tie in sweet peas to encourage them to climb.
  • Top dress plants in containers to refresh the compost and give them a feed.
  • Spray roses susceptible to blackspot.
  • Support your pea plants with twiggy sticks or netting.
  • Plant new asparagus and start to harvest your existing spears.
  • Plant tomatoes into their grow bags once they have their first set of flowers.
  • Thin out direct-sown vegetables such as spinach, carrot and lettuce seedlings then water the rows well.
  • Put netting round soft fruits to prevent birds eating your crops as they appear.
  • Ventilate your greenhouse on warm days.
  • Continue pricking out and potting on seedlings.
  • Keep removing runners from your strawberry plants to keep the main plant vigorous.
We said there was a lot to do! However, life’s not all about work so as the weather warms up take the time to relax and enjoy the garden from your favourite seat. 


Posted by Charlie Groves

Charlie is the manager at Groves Nurseries.  He is the 6th generation of C.W. Groves to run the garden centre. 

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