The Garden in May
After April was a cold chilly affair here’s hoping that the garden in May will provide us with the Spring sunshine we are all so desperately in need of not only so we can shed some winter clothing but to encourage the wildlife and plants to flourish!
At the beginning of 2016 everyone was saying how mild it was and how advanced all the plants were this was mostly due to daffodils flowering in December/January but then the cold weather caught up and some daffodils have now been flowering for nearly 2 months!!
I was grateful that during one of the warmer days in early April I took the opportunity to look in at my bees. I was pleased to see that the hive is doing well and that the stores were full so I put a super on top of the hive. I hope to look in on them again this weekend and hope that they have begun to fill the super with their delicious honey and to check that no queen cells are forming otherwise they may swarm early and I would rather split the hive to try and prevent this happening. “A Swarm in May is worth a load of hay!”
You can see just how delayed some of the plants are I have posted a couple pictures of our wisteria the first I took this morning (4 May 2016) and the second was taken on 8 May 2014, I cannot believe how much leaf growth the picture in 2014 has compared to our bare branches of today!
The forecast for the next 10 days is for warmer weather which includes non frosty nights which is a relief as I can finally put the chillies and aubergines that have been on my kitchen windowsill for months into the greenhouse, hopefully the other seeds in the greenhouse may now germinate too!
If like me you plan to make the most of the warmer weather and lighter evenings then here are some jobs for the garden which can be carried out during May:-
Keep weeding those borders as warmer/wet conditions are ideal for weeds and they will grow quickly.
Mow the grass – regular grass cutting will keep your lawn looking good, remember to lower the blades gradually so as not to scalp the lawn and during hot dry spells raise the blades to help prevent scorching of the grass.
Once the flowers on forsythia and flowering currant have finished these can then be pruned.
Daffodils that have finished flowering can be dead-headed and moved if necessary but don’t be tempted to remove any foliage until at least 6 weeks after flowering.
Hanging baskets can be planted up but don’t be tempted to hang outside until the end of the month or June so that risk of frost has passed.
Primroses can be divided and replanted once they have finished flowering – lift the clump with a trowel or border fork then carefully separate the clump, these individual plants can then be potted on or replanted, however, if planting outside ensure that the plants don’t dry out.
Mulch your borders – you can either do this with bark bought from the garden centre or your homemade compost.
Turn your compost bin.
Many seeds can be sown directly outdoors where they are to flower, these include:-
Hardy Annuals – Flower this year
Alyssum, Sweetpea, Californian poppy, Cornflower, Nasturtium, Night Scented Stock, Love in the Mist and Sunflower.
Biennials – Sow this year to flower next year.
Forget-me-Not, Foxgloves, Honesty, Wallflower and Hollyhock.
I hope that you have a fantastic gardening month of May.