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Garden Jobs During May

Sweet PeasWinter came back to bite us during early April but now Spring is finally getting under-way, the sound of swifts, swallows and the odd cuckoo fill the sky and there is a general buzz around the garden, we should all be experiencing some lovely warm weather and now the garden has finally erupted into life, here are some jobs to be getting on with:-

Trim back formal hedges such as Box, Holly and Privet to keep then looking nice and neat but please bear in mind that this is for formal hedges only and not large native hedges as we don’t want to disturb nesting birds – if in doubt leave.

Continue dead-heading spring flowering bulbs.

Once spring flowering bedding such as wallflowers and winter pansies have finished flowering clear them away and fork over in readiness for summer bedding or sow some hardy annuals.

Clematis Montana is beautiful but can quickly get out of control so once it has finished flowering you can cut it back this will not only help to keep it in check but will encourage new flower growth next year.

Keep on top of weeding – if you have large patches of bare soil it is quicker to use a hoe and if this is done on a sunny day the weeds can be left to shrivel on the ground.

If you have grown your own seedlings without the use of a greenhouse or a cold frame the plants still need to be hardened off before planting outside – to do this take the young plants outside during the day and bring back inside at night and don’t be tempted to plant outside until early June when all risk of frosts have passed.

Plant or direct sow Sweet Peas and don’t forget to pinch out the tips to encourage bushy growth from the base of the plant – all you need to do is wait until the plant is approx. 10cm high and literally pinch and break off the top growth to just above a leaf joint.

Continue to stake tall perennials

Continue regular grass cutting and begin to lower the blades but during hot dry spells raise the blades to help prevent scorching of the grass.

Tie in climbing plants – using garden twine tie in the stem using a figure of eight knot as this allows the plant to move and helps to prevent damage to the plant.

Create some water Storage – in anticipation of a long hot summer it is worthwhile investing in a water butt which can be fitted to an existing downpipe as this will provide free water for pots and borders during the dry spells.

Last Chance to:-

Sow sweet peas

Remove last year’s growth from perennials

Sow or turf new lawns

Plant evergreen shrubs

Sow hardy annuals such as candytuft, calendula, cornflowers and love in the mist

Trim back Forsythia and winter flowering heathers this will keep them neat and tidy and will encourage new flowers next year.

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