It’s finally warming up and things are starting to grow! Although we can still have some night frosts and chilly mornings, May is the month to get everything rolling, with this in mind we’ve created your May to do list.
Continue with the spring cleaning. Hoe your borders and beds to get rid of all weeds before they take hold. Do not allow annual weeds such as bittercress and groundsel to multiply by seeding. Chop off Dandelions heads before they set seed if you don’t have time to deal with them permanently. Carry on removing moss and weeds from paths, terraces, and drives and keep an eye out for pests around the garden. Watch out for slugs, snails and red lily beetles.
Now that the soil is warming up add some general purpose fertiliser before covering with mulch in borders, containers and the fruit and vegetable patch. If you have already mulched, pull it back as much as possible, tease the soil, add fertiliser and replace the mulch. Liquid feed plants in containers every two to four weeks.
Lift and divide overcrowded bulbs such as daffodils. Prune spring-flowering shrubs once they have finished flowering like Forsythia, Spiraea, Berberis, Choisya and Ribes. Cut back tender shrubs such as Penstemon, Caryopteris and Fuchsia after the danger of frost has passed. Deadhead tulips, daffodils Pansies, Voilas and Primulas. Prune out frost damage from affected evergreen shrubs. Young mimosa trees can also be cut back now but bear in mind that mature trees respond less well to pruning.
Don’t forget to mulch your borders as well.
Tie in climbing and rambling roses as near to horizontal as possible to restrict sap flow and to allow more shoots to grow along the length of stem. This will prompt more flowers to be produced. Check roses for signs of blackspot, aphids and leaf-rolling sawfly damage and treat with a suitable pest and disease control.
Mow the lawn weekly and remember to add the clippings to your compost pile. Continue to apply a high nitrogen liquid fertiliser to keep the lawn looking healthy.