May Gardening Advice

May only means one thing… Bank Holidays! Hurray! Now for some this means a nice relaxed long weekend, a BBQ maybe if the weather permits, but we know the majority of our readers are thinking of that extra day in the garden which is music to our ears! It’s warming up and there’s nothing we like more than getting into the garden in May, now is crunch time to get them gardens looking beautiful for the coming months. There are always plenty of jobs to get done in the garden, but now the weather is starting to turn (for the better) getting out there and ticking things off the to-do list is starting to seem a lot more appealing.
As always we are here with another monthly gardening blog to help you with our expert tips and advice on what you should be doing this month. So read out to find out the key things to do in your garden in May. Remember we have our Bargain Bundles available this month, snap yourself up a great bargain with our mixed packs of discounted bare roots. We have limited stock available in cold storage, read more on cold storage here… Snap em’ up before they’re gone!

Evergreens such as Viburnum Tinus and  Skimmia Rubella can be clipped this month, prune out frost damage from other affected evergreen shrubs. If not too woody, shredded clippings can be added to the compost heap, ideally in combination with soft material such as grass clippings. Prune spring-flowering shrubs such as Choisya and Ribesafter flowering.

Cut back tender shrubs and sub-shrubs such as PenstemonCaryopteris and Fuchsia after the danger of frost has passed.

Prune overcrowded, dead or diseased stems of Clematis montana once it has finished flowering. Untangling the stems can be fiddly, but once you can see where you are cutting, you need not worry about pruning this plant, it will take even hard cutting back very well.

Remove any reverted green shoots on hardy variegated evergreens, to prevent reversion taking over.

Prune wall-trained Pyracanthas, removing any shoots coming out from the wall, and shortening other new growth to about 8cm (3in). This encourages spur formation, and increased flowering relative to green growth.

Check for nesting birds before clipping any hedge! 

One hot topic this month to focus on is lawn care. For the first mow, be sure to keep your blades set at maximum height, after that lower the blades down and cut it regularly, around once a week. Remember to remove any dead foliage beforehand. Providing the weather stays nice, now is also a great time to apply some fertiliser and weed-killer to make sure your lawn is as healthy as possible come June. Add any clippings to the compost heap and keep the edges trimmed.

Ensure new lawns (either from turf or seed) do not dry out during dry spells. Keep off them for as long as possible to allow establishment. Don’t worry over a flush of weed seedlings in newly seeded turf. These will disappear once regular mowing begins.

For more on lawn care read our blog post.

Continue to keep on top of removing moss and weeds from your paths and terraces, it’s not just the plants that are growing at a fast speed at this time of the year. Stock up on some weedkiller which will kill off most weeds for at least a couple of months. And, keep your eyes peeled for any pests that might have made a home in your garden, keep an eye out on them pesky slugs and snails! To keep control, try trapping them grapefruit skins remembering to collect them up and disposing of them. There are also non-chemical traps available such as Slug Umbrellas and Nemaslug Slug Killer – use pellets only sparingly.

Viburnum beetle grubs start nibbling holes in the leaves this month, giving plants a tattered appearance. Inspect V. tinus and V. opulus regularly and spray or pick off the grubs by hand.

If you have any sad weathered looking fence panels, give them a lick of paint this month, you’ll thank yourself later come the summer BBQ’s!

Watch out for late frosts and protect tender plants.

Do you have any tips of your own you would like including in our monthly advice blogs? We’d love to hear! Please email or share them on our Facebook or tweet us @hedgesdirect.