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Gardening Jobs for May

Now is the time to start thinking about gardening jobs to be done in May. As summer fast approaches, bulbs fade and herbaceous borders grow out nicely. It is the perfect opportunity to prepare for warmer weather by sowing and planting out bedding, taking softwood cuttings and mowing the lawn regularly.

So what gardening jobs need to be done in May? Below are some examples of important tasks to be carried out next month.

Looking after your Flowers

  • Leave half-hardy plants outside during the day and bring them back under cover at night for 7-10 days to harden them off. You can then plant outdoors.
  • Dahlias and tender exotics also need to be hardened off for planting when there is no more risk of frost.
  • Overcrowded bunches of daffodils can be lifted and divided at this time of year.
  • Let the foliage of spring-flowering bulbs die down naturally.
  • Divide herbaceous perennials to improve their strength and encourage growth of new plants.
  • Prune Penstemons by cutting all the old shoots back to the base if there is new growth at the bottom of the plant.
  • Keep lavender plants nicely trimmed by cutting off old flower heads.
  • Top up your container plants with plant food and water.
  • Taking Care of your Lawn

  • Weed killer should be applied to your lawn at this time of the year. You should also encourage healthy growth by feeding your lawn with high nitrogen fertiliser.
  • During spells of warm weather, make sure to water your lawn. This applies particularly to newly seeded or turfed lawns. In early May, sow lawn seed and repair bare patches. Newly sown grass however should not be mowed until it reaches 3 inches in height.
  • Keep up regular mowing by carrying out the job weekly. Just remember to lower mower blades this month to their regular summer cut height.
  • Other Important Jobs

  • If you have a greenhouse, it is a good idea to open vents and doors on warm days.
  • When clipping hedges, be careful to check for nesting birds first.
  • Keep on top of weeding in beds and borders to prevent them from spreading.
  • Pond fish need to be fed little and often.
  • Take a close look at your plants to check for pests and diseases. It is better to spot the signs early and prevent disease rather than cure an infestation.
  • Do you have any top tips for gardening in May? Let us know in the comment box below!

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