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How are we in May already! With so many jobs to do this month, it’s all go!
The weather can be still unpredictable so keep an eye out for late frosts.
Ensure greenhouses are kept closed through the night and ventilate through the day.
Also keep a keen eye out for pests, any fresh foliage will be very tempting!
Weeds will be growing fast, as soon as you turn your back they’ll be sprouting up, so keep on top and don’t let them take over.
It’s quite a shock some to get on top then go back two or three days later to find all your hard work needs repeating. The soil is warmer, we have some wet days and some sunshine, perfect weed-growing conditions! If it’s on the veg plot it’s really important to stay ahead with this.
There are many sowings that can be made now, so take a look at wish lists of edibles. Not long until a harvest of colourful salad leaves to start the year's bounty.
Vegetables to sow now indoors include sweetcorn, lettuce, runner beans, french beans and tomatoes.
There are some fabulous varieties of sweetcorn available to try from a white kernel ‘Eden’, or bicolour ‘Ambrosia’ to an ornamental corn which looks like jewels called ‘Fiesta’.
If growing sweetcorn don’t forget it needs to be grown well away from popcorn because if cross-pollination takes place you’ll end up with starchy and unpleasant sweetcorn.
Sowing beans indoors will give an earlier crop.
In each pot sow an individual bean about 5 cm deep and keep covered on a windowsill or in a propagator until it is ready to be potted on.
Start hardening off outdoor veggies that are going to be planted out.
Lettuce can be made in successional sowings every two weeks to give a steady crop of fresh leaves.
Allow ventilation into the greenhouse. Plants can be placed outdoors for a few hours and then brought back in later in the day. This will allow them to acclimatise to outside temperatures before planting out.
Anything direct sown may need to be thinned out now like carrots and lettuce and beetroot. Ensure carrots are covered with horticultural fleece to protect from carrot fly.
We need some colour also, flowers brighten up our borders and it is ever more popular now to grow flowers for cutting for fresh displays as well as for drying and making seasonal wreaths. Dahlias and early flowering chrysanthemums can be planted now.
This is my favourite time to get hanging baskets and hay racks etc all planted up.
It’s nice if you are able to do this in a greenhouse or polytunnel and leave them to grow on throughout the month ready to go in display next month.
It’s fabulous to see how much they fill out. I’m always generous and pack in lots for a colourful display.
Herbaceous borders are really coming to life now. Keep a check on pests and diseases.
Also supporting plants. Roses may start sending out suckers which need to be removed. These are young green stems at the base.
The rootstock will try and take over sometimes so be sure to remove these. If they take over, you will lose the named variety that has been grafted onto the rootstock.
Hedges may need what I call a tickle, just a light trim to keep them looking tidy for now. Check out Mountfield's range of hedge trimmers.
Let’s hope we get some nice days to be outdoors this month and manage to keep ahead!
Next month I will be talking about Jobs in the garden for June. Fun things for children to be involved with and making the most out of your outdoor space.