Sarah’s Top Tips for your May Garden

We have been so busy working on your online orders!

Our polytunnels are packed full of Fuchsias, Geraniums and Surfinias waiting for new homes! Much of our summer bedding will be ready to go out over the next couple of weeks so please keep checking our website regularly to see what varieties and deals are available.

Summer plants in pots and containers need some attention as they have a very small seasonal window to show what they can do. I would recommend adding a slow release fertilizer and moisture retaining crystals to the compost when you are planting them up, especially for pots or hanging baskets that are in sunny or windy aspects that are prone to drying out. A weekly feed of Tomorite which is packed full of Nitrogen, Potassium and Phosphorus would help the development of strong stems, lush leaves and beautiful flowers that really pop! We currently have Tomorite, among others, available on our website for £4.49 per 1.3L bottle.

Tips for the Garden

  • Leave out mealworms for birds as the earth has become so dry it is hard for the birds to get to their usual earthworms. Avoid leaving out fat balls as they can turn rancid in the heat.
  • Mow lawns weekly and apply a nitrogen rich feed to promote leafy growth.
  • Check for nesting birds before you clip hedges.
  • Prune spring flowering shrubs such as Forsythia and Chaenomeles after they have finished flowering to keep them dense and compact.
  • Plant out Dahlias once you are certain the risk of frost has passed.
  • Tie-in climbing plants such as Clematis and Honeysuckle.
  • Add shade tolerant plants such as Hostas and Ferns to dark areas for interest.
  • Clear algae from ponds and water features, then add it to your compost heap.
  • Sand and treat wooden outdoor furniture.
  • Set up a wormery or extra compost bin to make the most out of your kitchen waste.
  • Put supports out for large plants which are prone to flopping over.
  • Sow grass seed or lay new turf before the end of the month to repair patches or create a new lawn.

Tips for the Veg Patch & Greenhouse

For either seasoned growers or newcomers, here is a brief list of small tasks to do around the vegetable garden:

  • Earth up potatoes that have started to sprout. This means forming a small trench on either side of the row and using the soil to create a ridge on top of the new leaves to block out light. Earthing up potatoes makes the plant think that it hasn’t reached the surface yet and prevents the potatoes from going green.
  • Reduce your neighbourhood snail population by going out on regular evening hunts with the kids to see who can gather the most!
  • Directly sow legumes outside.
  • Remove Strawberry runners so they can focus all of their energy into fruiting. Pinch off flowers on the runners as this will promote bushier growth this year and therefore a better crop next year.
  • Sow batches of salad crops periodically so you have a continuous supply throughout the summer.
  • Water your greenhouse crops every morning and evening during hot weather using recycled water where possible.
  • Stake tomato, pepper and other greenhouse crops, tying the new shoots back regularly to support the stems when they come to fruit.
  • Re-pot any houseplants that are looking top heavy or are root bound.