Gardening in the Spring
What to do in the Garden in May
The garden should be in full bloom in May, especially lilacs, rhododendrons and azaleas will be at their best.
Although summer is just around the corner, night temperatures can still fall below zero, so be careful not to planting out half-hardy bedding plants and vegetables too soon, and make sure you harden them off properly before planting out. Lengthening evenings make working in the garden a pleasure, and the first vegetable crops will be ready for harvest.
As the weather becomes warmer and drier, take more note of your plants' needs. Continue to water seedlings and water and liquid-feed established plants. Also keep a careful look out for plagues of garden pests such as aphids and spray accordingly.
Weeds will be quick to take advantage of the warm weather. Take time to hand weed newly emerging flower and vegetable seedlings, and hoe between the rows in seed beds. Once the perennials, annuals and bedding plants are full size, they will smother out most weeds.
While there is plenty of work to do in flower and vegetable beds, don't forget to attend to tubs and containers, which will soon form a flourishing outdoor display now that summer is on the way.
Lilies grown in pots can be moved out towards the end of the month to light up the garden with their good looks. Give them a sunny, sheltered spot and remember to keep them well watered.
Gardens to Visit
UK gardens open in May:
Created by Vita Sackville-West. Much of it is divided into
small areas, including a cottage garden, herb garden, rose garden and white garden.
Formal Italianate terraces, plus a vast lily pond and many woodland plants. Masses of spring colour from bulbs and shrubs. Its famous laburnum arch looks best in early summer.
Many unusual and exquisite acid-loving plants including
dwarf rhododendrons. Extensive collection of alpines that look best in spring.
Chelsea Physic Garden
A must for anyone interested in herbs and garden history.
Range of herbs grouped by uses. Scented plants. Many unusual varieties.