Mzzz B's May Garden Blog
The 1st of May seemed more like April! A return to cooler temperatures and wetter weather after what has seemed like an early summer! The garden seems to be at least 3 weeks ahead of normal, the wisteria is in full bloom, the Rosa banksia which usually starts to come out the last week in April is fully out. But maybe this spell of cooler weather will hold things back! Gardening is a gamble at the best of times, when do we expect the last frost? when do we put out tender perennials? when do we start sowing seeds outside? it is all a bit of a gamble.
So, as bulbs fade and herbaceous borders grow in leaps and bounds, it is hopefully now clear that summer is approaching. Sowing and planting out bedding can begin, at the end of the month. Make sure you have hardened plants off before planting out. This means keeping them in a greenhouse or cold frame overnight then putting them out in the day time, once overnight temperatures are higher then they can be left out.
It's also time to get back into the lawn mowing regime, as the lawn will be loving the warmer temperatures this month brings.
Things to do this month:
- Watch out for late frosts, protect tender plants with fleece.
- Earth up potatoes, and plant any still remaining.
- Plant out summer bedding at end of the month.
- Water early and late to get the most out of your water, recycle water when possible. Think of getting a rain butt to catch rainfall.
- Regularly hoe weeds, the more you can keep on top of the weds the less they will reseed!
- Open Greenhouse vents and doors to let air circulate and prevent damp from causing mould.
- Mow lawns weekly.
- Check for nesting birds before clipping hedges.
- Lift and divide overcrowded clumps of daffodils and spring flowering bulbs., remember that a lot of tulips sold will not do very well in the second year so unless you have planted species tulips or Darwin hybrids, the chance of them coming back in the same numbers next year is slim.
- Watch out for viburnum beetle and lily beetle grubs, and get rid of them! I have spent the last few weeks hunting down the bright red lily beetle, but a few will have been missed the next chance to get rid of them is at the larval stage, they lay eggs on the underside of leaves, and then hatch out into little grubs that cover themselves in their own excrement, not a nice jobs get rid of them!