May

If April is the month in which we deliberate about late frosts and cold soil, then May is truly the starting pistol of the growing season. Once begun unstoppable until the winter looms again.

Lawns need mowing frequently and will benefit from a good weed and feed. Spring flowering plants will need deadheading and the foliage either tied up neatly or cut down depending upon the variety. Garden centres and DIY stores are full of inexpensive bedding plants and it is now safe to fill those gaps and tubs to add colour where needed.Don’t forget, if you have broadcast annual flower seeds not to disturb the ground they are in.

Once vegetable seedlings are about 4 inches tall with plenty of leaf they are safe to be put outside. Cabbage,broccoli and kale like firm ground whereas leeks, carrots and parsnip prefer soft well cultivated soil, free of stones and clay. Now is a good time to sow salad crops, chard and spinach for cut and come again use.
May is also the time to sow those seeds that need higher night temperatures in order to germinate such as courgettes, squash, cucumber, french bean, tomato and aubergines. Sow in good compost in 4inch pots before planting on.
This month is a good one for mulching roses, perennials and shrubs, giving them a good feed at the same time. Trim winter flowering evergreens and box hedges to keep them neat for the summer.
After all that hard work and effort enjoy a sit in what we hope will be a lovely sunny mellow May.  Enjoy your garden.
Maureen Smith

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