Gardening is an annual task, or hobby to most, and requires attention all year round. For me this is perfect because I do not have to find something else to do that will keep me occupied whilst my hobby is ‘not in season’. Of course there are down falls to this, for example when I am extremely busy with work, which is not so much a hobby but a must! There are always jobs, big and small; to do in the garden and sometimes we may not always have the time. However, our gardens become something precious and special to which we have to dedicate time too. So, read on to find out what to do in the garden in May?
Pruning is perhaps not the most glamorous or ‘fun’ job to do in the garden, but if you want to stop your garden from overgrowing or looking wild then unfortunately the job has to be done. Shrubs form the backbone to our gardens; they create a base for growth so it is important to prune them regularly. Pruning shrubs will also improve a plants shape and encourage flowers.
Prune your Penstemons now and cut all the old shoots back to the base provided there is new growth at the bottom of the plant. If there are no new shoots at the base, cut just above the lowest set of leaves. Also, Prune out overcrowded and dead stems of early-flowering clematis after flowering.
Pest and diseases are irritating and frustrating to a gardener, after spending time planting, growing and caring for our plants they are diminished. Start to closely inspect your plants for pests and diseases as early prevention is easier than curing an infestation. Look out for signs of blackspot on roses. If discovered, blackspot can be treated with a systemic fungicide.
May is still a perfect month for the vegetable garden, ideal for planting asparagus, seed potatoes and the new autumn maturing Rhubarb Livingstone. Maintain earthing-up potatoes. You can read our potato growing guide for information about how to earth up potatoes. Weed around your onions and garlic to reduce competition for nutrients and water. Applying an onion fertiliser will boost growth.
What can you do in the fruit garden? Our horticultural expert Sue Sanderson advises;
“As the soil has now warmed up, strawberry runners planted this month will quickly establish. I would always recommend planting Ever bearer varieties at this time of year; these will reward you with fruit from July to October this year. These can be planted in the ground but grow very well if planted into containers, baskets, window boxes or a grow bag on a sunny patio”
Also, keep young fruit trees well watered whilst they are putting on rapid growth. Remove blossom and fruits from newly planted fruit trees to allow them to establish properly during their first year. Surround strawberries with straw to protect fruit.
For more detailed information and further advise view our full guide on What to do in the garden in May?
Terri works in the e-commerce marketing department assisting the busy web team. Terri manages our blog and social media pages here at Thompson & Morgan and is dedicated to providing useful advice to our gardeners. Terri is new to gardening and keen to develop her horticultural knowledge.