Alice, Gardening Year

May Gardening Jobs

May is a glorious month for your garden. It is now heading into full bloom, and you can begin to enjoy the results of your labour. You may also see nesting birds feeding their young, pollinators enjoying the blooming flowers, and hedgehogs entering their breeding season. The focus of your gardening this month should be on continuing to support your growing flowers and vegetables for a bountiful harvest come summer. Here is our full list of May gardening jobs.

General

garden lawn

  • Water your lawn: prevent your lawn drying out during hot weather; this is particularly important for newly seeded lawns. Feed with high-nitrogen fertiliser for an extra boost
  • Keep weeds at bay: keep on top of the weeding with regular hoeing, particularly around sensitive plants like onions and garlic. Apple a lawn weed killer to the lawn
  • Optimise watering regime: water early and late, and collect and recycle water whenever possible
  • Keep pests and disease at bay: inspect plants regularly, remove any unwanted insects and combat disease early to prevent an infestation

Plants

Summer Flowers

  • Plant out summer bedding: fill your flower beds and borders for a colourful display. Discover our selection of summer bedding plants
  • Look after finished spring bulbs: let the foliage die back naturally and add liquid fertiliser to the bulb
  • Support flowers: support growing plants with twiggy prunings and tie in climbing and rambling roses and sweet peas
  • Plant hanging baskets: fill with compost, fertiliser, and your favourite flowers and trailing plants
  • Divide spring-flowering bulbs: lift and divide overcrowded clumps of daffodils and other bulb plants
  • Prune spring-flowering shrubs: prune after flowering to keep tidy

Flowers to sow this month: zinnias, cosmos, scabious, cornflowers, ammi majus, linaria, verbena bonariensis, nasturtiums, poppies, candytuft, nigella

Shop our full range of flower seeds

Produce

prepare your garden soil

  • Harvest asparagus spears: when they are no more than 18cm (7in) tall. Eat quickly after harvesting
  • Harvest rhubarb: pick one-third of the total amount of stems
  • Earth up potatoes: cover the growing shoots with soil to protect them from frost. Make sure to check out our guide to growing potatoes
  • Support pea plants: use twiggy sticks or pea netting to help the growing plants
  • Support runner beans: make supports for growing plants using bamboo canes

Produce to sow this month: beetroot, broccoli, cabbages, turnips, spring onion, cauliflower, carrots, brussel sprouts, peas, parsnips, radishes, swiss chard, chives, coriander, parsley, dill

Shop our full range of vegetable seeds

Greenhouse

greenhouse

  • Open greenhouse vents and doors: ventilate on warmer days to maintain a consistent temperature. You could also use blinds or shade paint
  • Hang fly traps: keep whiteflies and other pests under control
  • Harden off plants: tender plants such as dahlias, cosmos, fuchsias, pelargoniums, bananas, oranges, and lemons are now ready to transition to outside. Harden them off gradually by exposing them to cool air bit by bit and bringing back under cover if there is a late frost

Plants to sow in the greenhouse this month: larkspur, salvia, foxgloves, aquilegias, delphiniums, tomatoes, courgettes, pumpkins, squash, marrows, lettuce, cucumber, kale, french beans, runner beans, melons, perennial herbs

Shop our full range of herb seeds

Animals

Blue Tit on a branch

  • Top up bird feeders and baths: make sure nesting birds are welcome in your garden. Dried mealworms are great for birds feeding their young, but make sure they do not spill onto the floor as they can be dangerous for hedgehogs
  • Avoid trimming hedges: be careful when trimming hedges as birds can be nesting inside
  • Allow some weeds to flourish: dandelions and some other weeds provide food for wildlife, so allow a few to flourish in a non-damaging area
  • Create a log habitat: leaves piles of logs and stones to provide shelter for insects, amphibians, and small mammals

Animals you may see this month: bullfinches, flycatchers, garden spiders, honeybees, moles, common blue butterflies, large red damselflies

What May gardening jobs have you been up to this month? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram!

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