May Gardening Jobs

Blossom in a spring garden
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It is spring, it is finally time to get into full gardening action and bring those green areas to life – yes! May is a month for seeds, growth, making plans, trying something new, tidying up from winter and setting the scene for summer. Let’s take a closer look at those important May gardening jobs…

Spring Clean

Now, I’m writing this in spring of 2024 and we have had a very long, chilly and wet winter into spring so far which means that there is A LOT to deal with right now. If your garden is anything like mine you’ve probably got green patios, mucky walls, fading and flaking paintwork, dirty pots, messy work areas, waterlogged areas and plants that need some attention. Fingers crossed for some dry days so we can get that spring clean underway including:

  • Jetwashing
  • Using warm soapy water to wash pots
  • Fixing broken furniture
  • Cleaning and repainting fences, gates, decking and so on
  • Washing children’s play equipment and mud kitchens
  • Tending to water-damaged areas
  • Washing and cleaning the greenhouse

Preparing the Soil

Now that our garden is looking a little bit better it is time to turn your attention to the soil quality. If you haven’t already tended to the soil in your beds now is the time to:

  • Clear away debris and weeds
  • Allow any new growth to see light and breathe
  • Turn the soil and break up large clumps
  • Add organic matter such as homemade compost into the mix to provide some well-needed nutrients

Planting and Sowing

In April’s blog, I listed which flowers and fruit/veg seeds could be sown but honestly, it’s not too late if you haven’t already started this up. A few weeks won’t make much of a difference and if you check the back of your packets it will give a clear indicator of several months they can be grown from. Some you may want to consider growing now include:

  • Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Broad beans
  • Radishes
  • Salad leaves
  • Runner beans
  • Strawberries and Raspberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Courgettes
  • Peppers
  • Herbs

And as for flowers:

  • Direct sow seeds of hardy annuals like cosmos, sunflowers and nasturtiums for a burst of summer colour.

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Pruning and Training

May is the time to prune and shape overgrown shrubs, bushes and trees (always check for nesting birds of course). Cut away dead wood, allowing for new growth and also check what has perhaps had its day and needs completely removing.

You can also spend time this month to tie in and train your climbing plants such as roses, clematis and honeysuckle.

Pest and Disease Management

As the temperatures begin to increase, so does the activity of garden pests and diseases. Keep a vigilant eye out for signs of infestation or infection, and take prompt action to mitigate their impact. Of course we want to avoid using harsh chemicals or hurting wildlife so use organic pest control methods such as handpicking caterpillars, insecticidal soap for aphids and introducing beneficial insects like ladybirds to combat some pests naturally.

Feeding and Fertilising

You can provide a boost of nutrients to your plants by applying a balanced feed or fertiliser that is suited to their specific needs. You can find plenty of advice on which ones to use over on the Gardeners’ World website or ask in your local garden centre.

Lawn Care

It’s No Mow May so just let your lawn do its thing!

Other Things to Consider

  • Emptying and turning your compost bin
  • Adding a water butt to your garden
  • Cleaning bird feeders and keeping them well topped up for breeding season
  • Clearing pond weed – being very careful not to remove any pondlife with it
  • Re-planting hanging baskets
  • Covering tender plants for a little longer until the weather consistently warms up
  • Taking cuttings of Rosemary, Thyme, Fuschias and Dahlias
  • Watering well on warm days

May is an exciting time for us and our gardens, it’s what we have all been waiting for so let’s put those long-awaited plans into action! Enjoy.

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