MAY in the garden
1. May can still offer late frosts so watch out for new shoots that may get scorched. Cover any slightly tender plants or spring blooms with fibre fleece if needed.
2. Prune spring flowering shrubs such as Chaenomeles, Ribes and Choisya after flowering. With Kerria and Sprirea ‘Arguta’ remove one stem in three to reduce other flowered stems to a suitable side shoot.
3. Water in any plants you have planted out to ensure they don’t dry out. Use rainwater or recycled water where possible.
4. Tie in climbing and rambling Roses as near to horizontal as possible. This will restrict the sap flow causing more side shoots to grow along the stem, thusly producing more bloomage.
5. Thin out direct sowing of hardy annuals and vegetables this month. This is best done in two or three stages over fortnightly intervals. The final spacing should be between 10-24cm using the upper limit for taller or spreading plants and the lower limit for smaller plants.
6. Continue earthing up your potatoes this month to encourage a bumper crop.
7. Plant out summer bedding, keep an eye on the evening temperature and cover with fleece if you need to.
8. Mow your lawn regularly and continue adding your clippings to the compost heap in layers with other compostable items.
A swarm of bees in May
Is worth a load of hay
A swarm of bees in June
Is worth a silver spoon.