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Gardening Diary - May
General
  Start cutting lawns more regularly.
  Hedges can be trimmed, check for birds nests first.
  It is very important to keep weeds down this month.
  Mulch borders etc after a good downpour of rain (or water manually).
  Check all wood & fence panels for wear & protect with paint or preservative.
  Keep an eye on the night weather forecast and cover anything tender with fleece if temperature drops below 4 degrees.
  Harden off any tender plants and veg outside during the day and don't forget to bring them in at night. Depending o the weather this could take a week or two.
  Unravel your garden hose & clean. Service your sprinklers.
  Staking of all trees & shrubs should be checked.
Vegetables
  Continue with successive sowings of lettuce, French beans, carrots, turnips etc.
  Sow beans.
  Plant Brussels sprouts.
  If early potatoes are through protect them by earthing up the soil around the crowns.
  Thin lettuce, onions & turnips.
  At the end of the month plant out tomatoes, marrows, cucumbers, spring cabbage, celery & cauliflower.
  Pinch out the tips of broad beans.
  Finish planting out shallots and onion sets.
  Cover carrots with fleece to protect against carrot root fly, alternatively carrot root fly resistant carrots are now available.
  Stake peas & beans.
  Now is a good time to buy and plant out asparagus.
Fruit
  Net your fruit to protect against birds. Make sure your netting is securely fastened and taught, this prevents any birds and other animals getting entangled.
  If necessary fruit should be watered and as the fruit is swelling a light feed can be given.

  Watch for gooseberry sawfly.
  Hang pheromone traps in fruit trees to catch codling or plum moths.
  Towards the end of the month thin vines & net against birds.
  Put straw down for strawberries.
Plants & Flowers
  Harden off bedding plants.
  Sow hardy annuals for the autumn.
  Plant out sweet peas.
  Thin out early seedlings.
  Dead head spring flowers.
  Divide & replant polyanthus, aubrietia & Christmas roses.
  Plant lilies, stocks, asters & gladioli outside & start bedding out (if danger of frost has passed).
  Feed all of your spring flowering bulbs, roses, hedging and border plants.
  Spring flowering bulbs can be divided now.
  Stake & tie tall herbaceous plants.
Trees & Shrubs
  Check shrub roses for pests & disease & spray straight away if necessary.
  Mulch newly planted shrubs.
  Prune laurels & spring flowering shrubs such as lilacs, forsythia & flowering currant.
Lawns
  Lower blades on mower and cut frequently in different directions.
  Apply lawn feed & weed.
  If dry, water new lawns frequently.
  New turf can be laid, but do not let it dry out in hot spells.
  Keep off lawn if its soggy.
Greenhouse
  Remove side shoots of tomatoes.
  Keep greenhouse well ventilated & check cold frames & ventilate. Close ventilation at night.
  Pot on tomatoes, cucumbers and chillies into growing bags or larger pots.
  Take geranium cuttings for autumn flowering.
  Repot plants that are pot bound or top heavy.
Houseplants
  Increase watering & feed growing plants.
  Once risk of frost is over put out indoor azaleas & lilium.
  Gently clean leaves from dust with a new clean cloth & water.
Pond
  Check your water lilies & divide if necessary.

 

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