May in the garden
Hopefully we have seen the last frost and can dare to use the word Summer now! Below we’ve listed some key tasks for this month.
Here’s a summary, but scroll down if you want more information on any of these jobs!
In the Vegetable Plot
- Get tomato plants out
- Earth up potatoes
In the Flower Bed
- Check Roses for Blackspot
- Prepare for summer bedding
- Cut perennials
Around the Garden
- Tie up climbers
- Feed and water containers
- Top dress permanent top plants
In the vegetable plot…
Get tomato plants out
Think about getting your tomatoes out. As the weather warms up and the risk of frost has passed, take your small tomato plants from inside and start to plant them out. Find them the sunniest spot you can as this will help them thrive and help maximise crop production.
Earth up Potatoes
Pull soil up around the bottom of your potato plants to stop your new tubers turning green and poisonous. Pull a rake or fork along both sides of the rows of young plants, making a mound of mud around the plant to ensure the tubers aren’t exposed to sunlight.
In the flower beds…
Check roses for Blackspot
Keep an eye on the foliage of your roses for this fungal disease – aptly named as it causes black spots on the leaves. If you spot any, treat with a systemic fungicide, as left unchecked, it can cause your roses to completely defoliate.
Prepare for summer bedding
Spring flowering plants will be coming to the end of their flowering period now and will need clearing ready for summer bedding. Take out the old plants, dig out the weeds and add some fertiliser to the soil ready for the new batch.
Known as the Chelsea chop as it needs doing around the same time as the Chelsea flower show – lower the height of your late flowering perennials to stop them leaning. Pinch out Asters, Helenium and Eupatorium at knee height and they will re-branch to provide you with stockier plants.
Around the garden…
Tie up your climbers
With fresh growth really getting underway now, it’s time to tie the shoots of your clematis and other climbers to your walls or trellis. Do the same with climbing and rambling roses, tying them up horizontally to encourage side shoots which will produce more blooms over the coming months.
Feed and water containers
Make sure you regularly water and feed your pots and hanging baskets. Giving them a balanced liquid feed every two to four weeks will help to promote health growth.
Top dress pots
Now is also the time to top-dress permanent pot plants to refresh the compost.