At last the evenings are lighter and spring is in full swing, our small gardening ideas could be your thing! We can all look forward to sitting in our gardens as summer fast approaches.

May is going to be a very busy month for us ‘gardeners’.  Everything has started to shoot, the blossoms have opened and seeds are germinating.  But, as with April, May can still have the threat of a frost, so be cautious when planting out new seedlings, keep an eye on the weather and protect anything tender.

Do start planting out gladiolis, dahlias and cannas, this month is also good to start sowing outdoor salads and vegetables, such as lettuce, beans, carrots and spinach.

Keep on removing dead heads from spring flowering bulbs and continue weeding before they flower and set seed, as the old saying goes ‘a year of seed is several years of weed’!!  By know azaleas, rhododendruns, camellias and viburnums should all have finished flowering, so pinch out or cut off any dead blooms. Winter flowering climbers and early spring flowering clematis could probably do with a good tidy up now and make sure small trees and standards have adequate support.

As ever slugs and snails are in abundance this month and their is nothing more disheartening than finding your seedlings reduced to nothing and seeing the tell tale signs of their trails in the morning.  Keep an eye out and remove any that you find, set a few traps or put pellets down.  The more you remove the less damage they can do later on.  Also out and about this month are our old friends the lilly beetle and vine weevil.  Both little horrors that can cause so much damage.  Lilly beetles are bright scarlet and hibernate in the top inch or two of soil so a good defence is to repot lillies annually. Use a good insecticide, this makes the leaves unpalatable or just do what I do, the good old ‘pick them up and squash them’ method!!!

It’s also time to start cutting the lawn regularly and if you patched up or laid a new lawn and it hasn’t yet had a cut, the first cut should only be half the growth and then mow as normal on the second cut.  This ensures thicker growth and help choke out any weeds.

Open greenhouse vents and doors on warm days and always try and collect rainwater, its free and its better for our gardens.

Put up nest boxes for migrant birds and why not try a bat box, or even hang a bee-nesting box or an insect house.  Still avoid chunky foods as mums are still feeding their fledglings and keep birdbaths topped up.

So lastly, as you are sitting their on your patios looking out on your own private eden, forget the aches and pains and the ‘Monday morning backache’, your garden is looking beautiful and you created it.

Please feel free to contact us at the Wheatley farm garden centre in you have any questions.

Until next time.


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