Gardening Month by Month: Gardening in May

It feels like summer is just around the corner, and if you look hard enough you can see it too. All those bulbs have suddenly disappeared and parts of your garden are starting to liven up. It’s now time to get your head down and dive back into work, especially if you live in areas where the weather is pretty good.

You’ll start appreciating the hot days again, but when you’re gardening in May it’s not all a bed of roses. Take a look at the top jobs it would be a good idea to focus on this month.

Gardening calendar: Gardening in May

Flowers, Trees, and Shrubs

Water carefully and well

1 – Protecting Tender Plants: The only thing you can guarantee about the British weather is that it’s unpredictable. Late frosts might still arrive in May, so make sure you protect your tender plants.

2 – Your Summer Bedding: If you live in a part of the country with warm weather feel free to plant your summer bedding towards the end of the month. Don’t proceed with this if you live in a colder area.

3 – Be Careful with Water: You’ll need to start watering everything in the morning and at night. The sun is going to evaporate it a lot more quickly starting from now and it could have an impact on your work.

4 – Dangerous Beetle Grubs: Keep a watchful eye on leaves to make sure there are no dangerous lily and viburnum beetle grubs. They’re not going to do your plants any favours when they are around.

5 – Spring-Flowering Bulbs: Work hard to keep on top of your spring-flowering bulbs this month. Things like overcrowded clumps of daffodils will need to be lifted and divided.

Fruits and Vegetables

cabbage in may

1 – Earthing Up Potatoes: Don’t forget to earth up any potatoes, because it’s still a crucial part of the growing process for multiple reasons. If any are still remaining you should plant them too.

2 – Growing Watercress: Watercress is one of the easiest things you can grow inside little containers. You just have to make sure they’re always lying in roughly 2-3 inches of water.

3 – Hearty Vegetables: You’ll be able to start growing hearty vegetables like swedes and turnips now. Once they’re ready they’ll keep you warm later in the year inside lovely soups and stews.

4 – Growing Juicy Melons: One of the cool things you can do when gardening in May is to begin growing melons. Try to make sure you choose a variety that will thrive in a British climate.

5 – Planting Nutritious Greens: Broccoli, sprouts, and cabbage can be planted outdoors. Remember to put a net over your cabbages to keep the cabbage white butterflies away from the leaves.

General Garden Maintenance

Check for Nesting Birds

1 – Recycle Your Water: In most areas of the country we don’t tend to suffer from water problems, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to recycle it. Why waste water when you can use what you collect?

2 – Mowing the Lawn: You’ve reached the point in time when you’ll have to crawl out of bed weekly to mow your lawn. Hopefully it’s hot on weekends and you’ll be able to do it when you’re off work.

3 – Ventilating the Greenhouse: You should open the vents and door of the greenhouse on days when it’s warm outside. Make sure you keep doing this sporadically throughout the month.

4 – Hoeing Your Weeds: If you thought last month was bad, it’s not going to get any easier for you. There will be lots of weeds hurting your garden and you’ll need to keep on top of them.

5 – Check for Nesting Birds: There are probably going to be birds nesting in your garden, especially deep inside your hedges. Look out for them before carrying out any work and pruning hedges, so the nests don’t get damaged.

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