May in the garden is a wonderful month, longer days, rain and warmer weather pushes everything on at a fast pace.
Spend some time mooching around your garden, simple observation is a good way of anticipating problems before they get out of hand.
Then get to grips with what needs doing, I like regular little bursts rather than hours at a time, which just feels like hard work.
- Use a hoe to scuff out small weeds before they set seed and multiply.
- Cut the grass each week, but remember that cutting it too short will weaken it.
- Trim Box topiary for a crisp outline, choose a cloudy day because cut edges discolour if it’s done in sunshine.
- Sow hardy seeds of flowers, like this Orlaya grandiflora, it flowers for ages and has such pretty, ferny foliage.
There are plenty of other hardy seeds too, try cornflowers, love-in-a mist, sunflowers, and californian poppies.
- Half hardy, more tender seeds can be sown outside at the end of the month when all possibility of frost has gone.
- Sow small amounts of salad leaves, carrot and radishes every couple of weeks to have a continual supply through the summer Rather than one big glut.
- Add soil to the base of early potato plants as they grow, and plant any other seed potatoes you still have.
- Cover fruit bushes with netting to protect them from hungry birds.
- Keep an eagle eye out for scarlet lily beetles, remove and squish them before they take hold and ruin your lily plants.
- Aphids multiply fast at this time of year, they can be sprayed with soapy water or just run a gloved hand gently along the stem to remove them.
Find out about sowing hardy flower seeds in an earlier post here.
Have a good month in the garden and remember to sit down with a cup of tea and enjoy it all.
All images: Jill Anderson