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May: Essential Tasks

April’s weather was full of surprises including hail, snow and torrential rain but May is off to a promising start with the temperatures well and truly on the rise! Now whilst it’s not yet swimsuit and sunbathing weather, we can make the most of the bright cool evenings and catch up with what we couldn’t do in April.

                                                                                                                              

Here at Springwood Garden Centre, we still have a selection of bulbs and vegetables available that you should have planted in April (we won’t tell if you don’t!)

The Lawn

The warm weather that has followed the rain will really stimulate your lawn’s growth. It’s easy to get side tracked looking after your veg patches and flowers but make sure you keep on top of cutting your lawn! If you don’t have time each week, you can always keep it tidy by trimming the edges.

 

Summer Bedding 

Tender summer-bedding plants, such as petunias and marigolds, should be safe to plant outside in most parts of the country by the middle of May. Just make sure you keep an eye on the forecast and protect them with fleece if there’s any chance of frost.

                                                                                                                             

TIP: When buying your plants, choose ones that are green and bushy with plenty of young flower buds, rather than open blooms.

 

Weeds

An ideal environment for your plants and veg is unfortunately an ideal environment for weeds too! They can quickly take over your garden if you leave them. Of course, the best thing that you can do: eliminate them whilst they are young. You can do this by hoeing borders and the vegetable garden once a week and using lawn specific weed killer when in the middle of spring. Also, we’d advise that you use a weed spray liberally on paths, drives and patios.  This should prevent them from coming back for several months.

                                                                                                                          

Grow your own

May is a peculiar month for vegetables… The winter crops and stored vegetables have been all been eaten and we are still eagerly awaiting this year’s! Don’t worry too much, we’ve got a few jobs that’ll keep you busy and make the wait seem faster:

 

·      Vegetables to plant outside: artichokes, Brussels sprouts, celery, courgettes, pumpkins, squash, sweet corn and tomatoes.

·      Vegetables for sowing outside: beetroot, carrots, cauliflowers, chicory, cucumbers, French beans, pumpkins, runner beans, salads, spring onions, sprouting broccoli, squash, swedes and sweet corn.

 

If the weather continues to warm up steadily, we’d recommend using shades for your greenhouse. You can also prevent your greenhouse overheating by opening the doors and windows regularly, which creates create an escape for the heat and entrance for a breeze.

                       

Hedges

Use May to cut and trim your evergreen and conifers – get them looking neat before summer. If you do this, they shouldn’t need much maintenance when you are at your busiest! To prevent bare patches, don’t trim your conifers after August.

                                                                                                                           

TIP: Watch out for birds that have made your hedge their home! It is an illegal offence under the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 to damage or demolish the nest of any bird, whether it’s in use or being built. Bird nesting season generally runs between the beginning of March and the end of July.


Happy Gardening! 

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