What to do in your garden in May

As bulbs fade and herbaceous borders grow in leaps and bounds, it is now clear that summer is approaching. Sowing and planting out bedding can begin, depending on regional weather variations, and you can take softwood cuttings.

Hawthorn is flourishing in the hedgerows, cow parsley flowers in drifts and the woodlands are filled with a carpet of bluebells. We see lush growth appearing on perennials; the first roses are bursting into flower and fruit is setting after the glorious spring blossom.

  1. Watch out for late frosts. Protect tender plants
  2. Earth up potatoes, and promptly plant any still remaining
  3. Plant out summer bedding at the end of the month (except in cold areas)
  4. Collect rainwater and investigate ways to recycle water for irrigation
  5. Regularly hoe off weeds
  6. Open greenhouse vents and doors on warm days
  7. Mow lawns weekly
  8. Check for nesting birds before clipping hedges
  9. Lift and divide overcrowded clumps of daffodils and other spring-flowering bulbs
  10. Watch out for viburnum beetle and lily beetle grubs

Sources: www.rhs.org.uk / www.houseandgarden.co.uk