Jobs For May


In the UK it is beginning to warm up and spring is definitely here.

Most seeds sown now will germinate fairly quickly and frost tender plants can go out at the end of the month.


Flower Garden

  • Continue sowing annuals
  • Support tall perennials in windy sites
  • Harden off plants to be planted outside
  • Pot on plants to be kept in containers
  • Plant out hardy perennials and alpines grown from seed
  • Trim alpines after flowering and propagate by division
  • Put lilies grown in pots outdoors
  • Plant out dahlias and chrysanthemums in late May
  • Begin planting hanging baskets, tubs and containers
  • Feed roses and shrubs
  • Plant dahlia tubers in borders outside
  • Divide perennials that are congested
  • Trim back winter flowering heathers
  • Plant gladioli in groups outside
  • Sow hardy annuals in any gaps in flower beds
  • Prune forsythia after it has flowered
  • Check plants for signs of greenfly
  • Trim box hedging and topiary

In this video there are some tips for growing chrysanthemums, a great autumn flower. Prune these flowers back until mid-July for a beautiful autumn flowers!


In The Greenhouse

  • Sow summer bedding
  • Plant up hanging baskets and pots
  • Pot up begonia and gloxinia tubers
  • Hang up yellow sticky pest traps
  • Open greenhouse vents on warm days and put up shading
  • Check plants for pests and diseases
  • Plant early crops in growing bags
  • Sow seeds of melons in small pots
  • Feed pot plants every week until autumn
  • Take cuttings from chrysanthemums
  • Repot established houseplants

Veggie Garden

  • Sow Runner Beans either in cold frame or direct in your prepared bean trench
  • Sow Sweetcorn in modules or toilet roll tubes in cold frame
  • Sow French Beans directly into the soil
  • Harden off Tomatoes and plant out at the end of the month in good rich soil

  • Sow cucumber and gherkins in the cold frame or greenhouse
  • Plant out Brussels Sprouts but use the ground in between them for a catch crop of cauliflower or cabbage
  • Carry on sowing succession crops such as lettuce, radish, rocket, spring onions, peas etc, every two weeks
  • Thin Carrot and Beetroot sowings
  • Net Strawberries against bird attack. To discourage slugs and protect fruit from mud splashes use pine needles instead of straw for mulch. It will keep the fruit clean and soil moist AND it gives the strawberries the slight acid edge they like AND slugs don’t like it.
  • Keep Onions and Shallots free from weeds

This video is about growing carrots in containers and describes how to prepare the container, sow carrot seed to be certain of success, what compost to use and the best carrot variety to sow.


General advice

  • Sprinkle fertiliser around roses, shrubs and along the base of hedges
  • Water newly planted trees and shrubs regularly, until they have established
  • Hoe areas of bare soil on dry days to prevent weed seedlings taking hold
  • Plant up aquatic baskets of new pond plants or water lilies
  • Remove red lily beetles from lilies and fritillarias
  • Pressure wash patios, paving and steps to remove slippery moss, slime and built-up dirt and grime