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Gardening Tips for May

There is still time to get rid of moss patches in the lawn, using moss-killer or by raking. Don’t forget you can improve ‘thinning’ areas by ‘over-sowing’ with a quality lawn seed mixture and raking in where possible. Remember though that you need to keep the surface moist until the new grass becomes established.

Now’s the time for planting up hanging baskets. It’s a good idea to mix in some granular slow-release fertiliser with the compost at this time. It will save you having to liquid feed through the summer – as they say ‘just add water!’

Fresh, young green shoots are appearing all over the garden and in the greenhouse which means that those ravenous slugs and snails will be increasing too, so take precautions. Remember the sale of Metaldehyde-based slug pellets has now been banned to protect wildlife. Don’t forget you can take a walk around in the late evening, pick the slugs off the plants and dispose of them appropriately!

Early-sown broad beans will be growing rapidly now. Remember to pinch out the growing tips when the basal pods have set. It helps to avoid blackfly targeting the succulent young growing shoots.

Early sown vegetable salad crops will be maturing. Harvest young when they are at their most succulent and nutritious.

The sun will be getting stronger in May, so make sure you have some shading for the glasshouse, be it shade-netting for hanging inside or whitewash for outer application to the glass.

It’s a great time to clear excess pondweed and perhaps add one or two new plants to the garden pond. Don’t forget to feed the fish little and often.

Remember the ‘mantra’ that ‘cleanliness is next to Godliness’ both in the garden and greenhouse or any utensils you use. Keep a close eye for the first signs of pests and diseases – it’s much easier to control them if you do!

May is a great time in the garden, new growth seems to appear every day. Mind, it’s also a busy time too, so keep on top of all those tasks and enjoy!


I am a horticulturalist by trade, beginning my career by attending the Hertfordshire College of Horticulture where I acquired the Higher National Diploma in Commercial Horticulture. I then moved on to Bath University to obtain my Bsc.

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