What to do in May



What to do in May

Tidy flower beds and remove collapsed plants and cut back anything that needs it.  Clear remaining annuals and debris. Plant grasses to encourage birds in winter.  Prepare soil that is bare over winter by digging in plenty of compost, manure and organic material such as leaf mould and cover with a layer of mulch ready for spring planting.

Trim conifers to keep their shape being sure not to trim old wood. Plant and transplant roses using plenty of compost and make the hole deep enough to cover the graft union. Prune existing roses to about half their size and burn all the fallen leaves to help against fungal diseases.

Plant bulbs according to the suppliers’ instructions in groups of 10-25 or more for the best effect. Water well throughout winter. In areas of heavy frost, now is the time to get out the frost protection fleece and cover tender plants.  

Brighten up your garden by planting winter bedding plants such as pansies, violas, petunias, primroses and cyclamen in your flower beds, containers and hanging baskets.  Divide perennials such as daylilies. Cut back ornamental grasses and bamboos.

Plant soft fruiting plants such as raspberries and gooseberries in well-prepared holes at the same depth as they are in the bag.  Prune established apple and pear trees to keep the centre open allowing for the air to circulate and the sunlight to penetrate into the middle of the tree.  Plant garlic, shallots, broad breans, and peas.  Protect brassicas if necessary and continue to harvest carrots, leeks, brussels sprouts (from the bottom upwards) and parsnips.

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