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May in the Garden – Summer is on the Way

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May in the Garden – Summer is on the Way



As the voluptuous tulips fade and drop their petals, awakening herbaceous perennials in beds and borders start their rapid growth. May is the perfect time to get your outdoor space ready for the upcoming summer months. From planting hanging baskets with summer bedding to tackling pesky weeds and pests, there are plenty of tasks to keep you busy in the garden this month. In this blog, we will provide you with some expert tips and advice on how to make the most of your garden in May and ensure it’s in top condition as summer approaches.



Plant Out Bedding Plants in Hanging Baskets, and Containers.

After all the gloom and seemingly never-ending rain, it finally feels like summer is on the horizon. Now is the time to fill up your hanging baskets and window boxes with those vibrant flowering plants that announce, ‘summer is almost here!’. Juicy begonias, trailing lobelia, soft petunias, and fragrant calibrachoas, not to mention reliable and drought resistant pelargoniums (bedding geraniums) – these are just a few of the plants for summer colour that you will find in our bedding area. The widest choice is available right now.



Earth Up Potatoes.


If you planted potatoes in your veg patch, now is the time to earth them up to protect the tubers from sunlight and encourage a larger crop. Simply mound up soil around the base of the plants, leaving just the topmost leaves exposed.



Hoe Weeds.


Don’t let weeds take over your garden. Grab your hoe and regularly hoe off any weeds that pop up in your flower beds and vegetable patches. This will help to keep your garden looking neat and tidy and prevent weeds from competing with your plants for water and nutrients. The ‘Garden Life’ stainless steel Dutch hoe is compact and light weight, making it ideal for weeding in tight spaces.

Expert tip: Keeping the blade of your hoe sharp will make this task faster and easier.



No Mow May.

If you want a lawn like a bowling green, then you need to start cutting your grass in May. However, the RHS and many wildlife charities are again promoting ‘No Mow May’.

https://www.rhs.org.uk/lawns/mowing

https://www.plantlife.org.uk/campaigns/nomowmay/

Consider letting your lawn grow a little shaggy this month as part of the ‘No Mow May’ movement. Allowing your grass to grow longer can benefit pollinators and other wildlife, as well as improving the overall health of your lawn.



Cut Hedges After Checking for Nesting Birds.

If you have hedges that need trimming, make sure to check for any bird nests before you start cutting. It’s important to avoid disturbing nesting birds during this time of year, so be sure to check carefully before clipping your hedges.



Feed Daffodils,

I have said this in previous blogs, but it is well worth repeating. After the flowers have faded, feed your daffodils and tulips with a high-potassium fertilizer to help them build up the bulbs for next year’s blooms. Feeding spring bulbs after they have flowered, but before the leaves start turning brown, will ensure that they come back stronger and more beautiful next spring.



Deal with Lily Beetle and Viburnum Beetle Grubs.

Keep an eye out for lily beetle and viburnum beetle grubs on your plants and take action to remove and dispose of them if necessary. These voracious pests can wreak havoc on your garden, so it’s important to deal with them promptly.

https://www.capitalgardens.co.uk/blog/red-lily-beetle-a-garden-pest-to-watch-out-for/



https://www.rhs.org.uk/biodiversity/viburnum-beetle



Prune Clematis armandii After Flowering.

Have you enjoyed the early spring flowering of Clematis armandii in your garden? Is the plant beginning to get out of hand? You can prune it back in May to maintain its shape and encourage healthy growth. Cut back any dead or damaged growth and train the plant to grow in the desired direction.



Plant Sweet Peas.

May is the time to sow sweet peas directly into the soil in your garden. If you can’t wait, we have pots of young sweet peas ready to plant out. Sweet peas need something to climb up, like a wigwam made from bamboo canes. They will need to be loosely tied to the canes using soft twine for the first six weeks after planting out.

Expert tips: sweet peas like a fertile, water retentive soil. So, add plenty of compost or manure to the soil before planting. And give your sweet peas a good watering after planting.

These fragrant favourites will add a burst of colour and scent to your outdoor space. But remember to keep cutting the flowers for the house to keep them productive.



Keep an Eye Out for Black Spot on Roses.

Check the leaves on your rose bushes for black spot, a common fungal disease that can affect rose bushes in warm and humid weather. If you see any signs of black spot, remove and destroy the affected leaves to prevent the spread of the disease. Clean your secateur blades before moving on to tackle the next bush – and always after you have finished using them before you put them away!



In Conclusion.

May is a busy month in the garden. There is plenty to do to prepare for the arrival of summer. By following these simple tips, you can ensure that your garden will be in top condition and ready to bloom beautifully in the coming months. Happy gardening!



Something to see:

If you are looking for somewhere to go then why not check out the exciting new nature-inspired sculptures by Marc Quinn that have just gone on show at Kew Gardens?

https://www.kew.org/kew-gardens/whats-on/marc-quinn

The blurred visions reflected in his monumental stainless steel sculptures breakdown the spaces occupied by the viewer, artwork, and the Kew landscape.



The post May in the Garden – Summer is on the Way appeared first on Capital Gardens.
 
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