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Mzzz B's May Garden blog

7th May 2023 @ 6:06am – by Jen Benefield
Back home > News > Jobs in the May Garden

Want to do something different this weekend- the garden calls!

Is it spring or winter?

Spring seems to be a long time changing from winter to warmer weather. A frost last week caught some of the new growth, and seedlings seem to be slow to get going.

The lengthening days means that lots of things are happening in the garden despite the alternating temperatures.. This is also the time of year when shade loving plants come into their own, flowering before the trees are in full leaf. The cowslips and honesty in the photos are in semi shade. The very early peony has done remarkably well this year. There are many plants in the garden that have come through this unusual year very well, but others are looking very dead. But they say to wait til at least June before you give up on some things as they may well come through from the roots.

So the busy season is well under way, sowing seeds indoors, getting the veg garden ready for when the soil has warmed up to sow seed outdoors.
We may still get frosts at night for a while, so do not put out tender plants yet.
The Welsh poppies in my garden have seeded everywhere so I will be doing a lot of hoeing as they do want to take over, however pretty and bright they may be. Some of the seedlings you find maybe interesting too, so try and recognise the seedlings before you hoe them out, as perennials often seed around and you can then get free plants. However they do take a while to get to flowering size.

Jobs to do in May

  • Keep weeds under control by hoeing or hand weeding. Protect fruit blossom from late frosts
  • Tie in climbing and rambling roses
  • Sow hardy annuals ,herbs and wildflowers seeds.
  • Start to feed citrus plants
  • Increase the water given to houseplants
  • Sow new lawns or repair bare patches, still time to sow wildflowers or to plant plug plants into your patches of grass.
  • Mow lawns with the cutters on high, or follow the no mow May principle and watch what wild flowers you have in your garden, even if it is a small patch. You might be amazed to see what grows.
  • Sow vegetable seeds in batches to ensure a succession of your harvest. Lettuce can be sown when it is still cool, they prefer a cooler temperature. Watch out for mice eating peas when you sow them- sprigs of holly are not just for christmas but can keep mice at bay as they hate the prickles. I also lost a whole batch of courgette seeds that I had sown, which mice ate- forgot the holly! Nature can be wonderful but it is annoying at times.
  • Earth up potatoes
  • Wait til the end of May before you put bedding or tender plants out
  • Open greenhouses when days are warm but make sure to close at night.
  • Lift and divide daffodils and spring bulbs, snowdrops which are still green can still be lifted and divided, make sure the snowdrop bulbs do not dry out before replanting
  • Watch out for lily beetles, beautiful bright red beetles which can devastate your lilies. The best way when you see them is to put your hand underneath them, as when disturbed they fall off the plant and turn upside down revealing their black abdomens, and they then disappear! ( then squash!).


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