Today we are open from
09:00 - 17:30
Today we are open from
09:00 - 17:30

May is a beautiful month, with all the spring flowers in full bloom and summer just around the corner. Everything is bursting with life and there’s plenty to do in the garden! Thank goodness for the two bank holidays!

Here are our top tips for gardening jobs in May.

  • Get ready for a fantastic summer display by sowing hardy annuals like cornflowers, sunflowers, and poppies. Why not get the kids involved and see how high you can get your sunflowers to grow!
  • Add instant colour to your patios and door areas by planting summer bedding such as begonias and geraniums in pots, window boxes and hanging baskets. 
  • It’s time to sow your pumpkin, courgette, and French bean seeds in a greenhouse or in pots on a sunny windowsill, so they can be planted out next month.
  • Basil seeds can also be sown in pots on a sunny windowsill, and you’ll be rewarded with a summer-long abundance of tasty leaves.
  • For fresh salads throughout the summer, sow a new batch of salad leaves every couple of weeks.
  • “Earth up” potatoes by creating a mound that covers the spouts so only the tips of the foliage stick out. This will help to give you a bigger harvest and stop the sunlight from getting to the tubers, turning them green and toxic.
  • Pot your tomato seedlings into larger pots but wait until the end of the month to plant them outdoors. Remember to harden them off first by having them outside a few hours each day, increasing the time they are outside until they’ve been out all day. Keep young plants out of direct sunlight to avoid sunburn.
  • Summer may be almost here but it’s never too soon to start thinking about your winter veg! Sow kale in pots in a greenhouse, and parsnips and Brussels sprouts directly into vegetable beds outdoors.
  • Make the best use of your water by watering plants in the early mornings or the evenings, watering the earth, not the foliage. Water container plants regularly even if it rains, as their foliage often stops the rainwater from reaching the compost and feed them fortnightly with a balanced liquid feed. Why not install a water butt to collect rainwater and use this for watering – it’s perfect for plants.
  • Once the foliage on spring bulbs like daffodils, bluebells and tulips have died back, cut them off at ground level. It’s also a good time to lift and divide any clumps
  • Now that the frosts are over, and they have finished flowering it’s time to prune early-flowering (Group 1) Clematis like Clematis armandii and Clematis montana, to keep them looking neat and from getting too big.
  • When spring-flowering shrubs like forsythia have finished flowering, give them a prune so they have plenty of time to develop flowers for next year. Cut any flowered shoots back to strong buds lower down.
  • Avoid trimming hedges. If you must trim, take care and always check that no birds are nesting in the hedge before you start cutting. Remember it’s illegal to disturb nesting birds.
  • Mow the lawn regularly but try to leave an area unmown this month to give pollinators and other garden wildlife a boost.
  • Keep on top of weeds. Use a Dutch hoe on dry days to tackle annual weeds in vegetable beds and borders. Dig out perennial weeds with long taproots such as dandelions with a daisy grubber, hand fork or weeding knife.

Whether you’re sowing, planting, or planning for great summer garden parties, get your garden into great shape this May with a visit to our centre, you’re sure to find everything you need!