May Garden – Sowing & Planting!
It’s the start of summer and you can expect beautiful warm spells and cool nights. You still have the risk of a cold snap and heavy showers in May but May’s garden is bursting with life, colour and birdsong!
Sowing and planting:
Plant out summer bedding towards the end of the month once the risk of frost has passed. Take care in colder areas
where it’s best to wait until June. Harden off plants raised from seed and cuttings. You can do this by leaving them outside for increasing periods of time. It’s best to put them out at the warmest part of the day then build up to overnight exposure. Do this for 10-14 days before planting them outdoors to ensure that their growth isn’t stunted when they are planted out.
Potatoes grow very quickly under warm and moist conditions. Now is the time to earth up Potatoes – this is drawing up the soil around the stems of the plants to leave a small shoot uncovered. This increases the length of the underground stems that will bear Potatoes. Plant any remaining tubers.
Mulch Strawberry plants to keep the fruits off the ground and deblossom Strawberry runners planted in the spring. When the Strawberries start to swell, don’t water as much to avoid grey mould. Cover Strawberries and other fruit with netting to protect them from pests and birds.
Sow Beetroot, Winter Cabbages, Carrots, Peas, Broad and Runner Beans, Lettuce and Spring O
Prepare your soil by removing weeds and raking the surface to break down large clumps of earth. Make a furrow with a trowel then sow seeds finely. Cover the seeds with soil and water well. Stagger sowings to prevent a glut.
Also plant out summer-flowering bulbs such as Gladioli and Dahlias. Dahlias grow best in full sun, but will tolerate partial shade. Try to find a spot that provides at least six hours of sun a day. If they are planted too early you run the risk of subjecting the tubers to freeze or rot.