General Tasks

  • Plan and plant-up flower borders.
  • Remove weeds among flowers, vegetables and fruits.
  • Regularly cut the lawn and apply week/moss killer.
  • Attend to container-grown plants.
  • Tubs containers and hanging baskets can be planted-up now but keep them protected until the danger of frosts has passed.

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.

sheffield park gardens sussex

Although summer is just around the corner, night temperatures can still fall below zero, so be careful not to plant 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.

Next Page >> What to do in the Flower Garden in May >>

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.
Location: Kent

Bodnant 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.
Location: North Wales Website


Many unusual and exquisite acid-loving plants including dwarf rhododendrons. Extensive collection of alpines that look best in spring.
Location: Tayside
Tourist Website

Chelsea Physic Garden

A must for anyone interested in herbs and garden history. Range of herbs grouped by uses. Scented plants. Many unusual varieties.
Location: London SW3