May

Patio Planting

Start planting up your containers with young bedding plants for a glorious display of colour through the summer months. There is a wide variety of plants to choose from at the Garden Centre and staff will be happy to advise you in your choice. It is advisable to use Miracle Gro Moisture Control Compost  in your tubs and containers to help retain the moisture in the soil. Alternatively, water gel and slow release fertiliser should be added to any good quality compost. It is advisable to keep newly planted containers in a protected site to allow the young plants to become established before moving outside once the risk of late frost has passed.

Where the garden soil is too alkaline, acid loving plants can be easily grown in containers if  the correct compost is used when potting up. When watering try to use rain water whenever possible rather than tap water which  may contain lime. Plants should also be fed with a suitable ericaceous fertiliser, this will ensure nutrient requirements are maintained to encourage healthy foliage and abundant flowering.

 

Beds and Borders

You can apply an organic mulch around the root area of perennials to help keep the soil moist and enable the plants to grow strong and healthy. An ideal product is Levington Water Saving Bark.  This will also help to suppress weed growth and reduce competition for available nutrients.

Stake tall perennials such as foxtail lily, delphiniums or lupins to help them remain upright and reduce wind damage as the flower spikes develop. Ring supports are ideal for perennials such as paeonies. A wide range of plant supports are available from the Garden Centre offering versatility and maximum protection to suit individual plants requirements.

Treat unwanted weeds in your flower beds with a good perennial weedkiller such as Fast Action Roundup or Weedol Rootkill Plus. Organic matter should then be dug into the soil to improve the structure and encourage strong root growth  when you replant.

Once you have bought your plants and hardened them off  if necessary,  keep them sufficiently moist and give them a regular feed of Miracle Gro All purpose liquid plant food. Keep a check on the weather forecast  for any threat of frost and provide adequate protection to reduce cold damage. Frost Fleece or Cloches are ideal for this purpose.

Towards the end of the month Dahlia tubers can be planted out in a moist rich organic soil. Protect emerging shoots from slugs and snails.

 

Roses, Shrubs and Climbers

Regularly check roses and spray with fungicide or insecticide to keep any fungal disease or pest problems under control. A systemic control such as Rose Clear Ultra is ideal.

Climbers such as Clematis, Wisteria or Honeysuckle will be covering walls and fences with a good show of buds and flowers. You can allow the plants to grow freely with no trimming until July, when the wisteria will need trimming back into shape. Honeysuckles and Clematis should be pruned according to their flowering time.

Shrubs that are exhibiting signs of winter damage can now be pruned as required. This will encourage healthy growth and prevent further die-back.

 

 

Lawn

Continue to care for the lawn by mowing at least once a week. The grass should be no shorter than 1cm or you could risk putting the lawn under stress, usually a cut of 2cm is short enough, although a lawn that has a lot of wear and tear should maybe be kept to around 4cm so as not to weaken the grass.

If you missed the spring feeding of your lawn now is a good time to apply a feed such as Evergreen Complete Soluble or J. Arthur Bowers Weed and Feed. Read and follow the directions for use.

If not using a complete lawn product weeds can be tackled with a selective weed killer such as Verdone Extra which will not kill the grass.

Dry weather around now may mean you need to start watering the lawn to build up moisture in the soil before any droughts.

 

Fruit & Vegetables

Tender crops of Runner beans, Sweet corn and French beans that need time to grow before planting out can be sown at the end of the month if all threat of frost is over. Sow in individual pots of John Innes Seed compost and keep them on a light windowsill, propagator or cold frame to encourage germination.

Varieties of Salad leaves can now be sown at regular intervals for a steady supply of leaves throughout the summer.

Young plants of Lettuce,Cabbage and Beetroot etc, can be planted out towards the end of the month but keep a close eye on the weather. These may require netting to protect from pigeon damage.

 

Pests & Diseases

Young stems and buds are prone to damage from an array of pests and diseases at this time of year. It  is necessary to apply a suitable treatment at the first sign of trouble to prevent poor plant performance and unsightly damage. A wide range of products are available at the Garden Centre to tackle most problems.  These include: Provado Ultimate Bug Killer, Vitax Organic 2 in1, Bayer Bug Clear Ultra for Fruit & Vegetables, Rose Clear Ultra and Bayer Fruit & Vegetable Disease Control. Garden Centre staff will be happy to offer advice about the most suitable product for your particular problem.


Advert: Visit our coffee shop Advert: Visit our sister shop Advert: Sign up for our newsletter
Garden Gift Card, HTA and NGGV logos