May Gardening Tips

May Gardening Tips

May , Week One

1. Time Saving Tip: Don't waste your time tying daffodil leaves into clumps after flowering. It looks more unsightly and may cause damage.

2. Money Saving Tip: Clay pots which have suffered from frost damage can still be used. Lay them on their side and half fill with soil. Creepy-crawly plants, such as sedums, will look natural growing out of the container.

3. It takes time for newly planted trees and shrubs to send their roots out in search of water. Continue to water new plants during periods of dry weather.

4. The Australian palm, Cordyline australis,can look untidy with the old,dead leaves hanging down the stem. Don't cut them off but pull them off one at a time working up from the bottom.

5. Bark mulch clematis at least 10 cm 94 in deep around the stem of the plant and the immediate root area. This will keep the roots cool and moist and encourage the stem to reroot.

6. Pour boiling water along open seed drills before sowing vegetables. It will kill soil borne pests and weed seeds, getting the seedlings off to a good start.

7. Keep an eye out for blanket weed in the pond. Use a plastic rake or brush to remove it. Put it on the compost heap.

8. Cover tomatoes growing in cold glasshouses with fleece or newspaper at night to protect from frost.

May, Week Two

1. Time Saving Tip: Sharpen garden tools, including the spade and hoe. They will be easier and quicker to use.

2. Money Saving Tip: Container grown plants,such as hostas,which are prone to slug damage may be protected by coating the rim of the pot with vaseline. The slugs won't crawl through it.

3. Water plants growing at the base of walls where the soil tends to remain dry even when it is raining.

4. Where there are mature ash,beech and sycamore growing, seedling trees will appear all over the garden. Remove them as soon as you see them as they quickly grow to an unmanageable size.

5. Hardy fuchsia will soon be producing new shoots from the base.Water and apply a balanced fertilizer to help them grow away quickly.

6. Erect fine mesh or fleece screens around young carrots to keep the carrot fly from laying its eggs close to the crop.

7. In areas of shrubs infested with bindweed insert bamboo canes. The weed will twist its way up the cane where it may be sprayed with weed killer without damaging the nearby plants.

8. Ground cover plants such as lamium and vinca can be clipped over to remove the old, tired foliage. The new growths will look better.

May, Week Three

1. Time Saving Tip: When potting and repotting plants leave 5 cm (2 in ) at the top of the container free of compost for a good application of water.

2. Money Saving Tip: Beds of old heathers may be rejuvenated by spreading a 10 cm (4 inch) deep layer of peat over the surface and washing it down to soil level with a hose.The heathers will reroot up the stems into the peat.

3. Start spraying roses to control black spot and mildew.

4. As potato shoots appear earth up the soil around them.

5. During warm days open the greenhouse ventilators, closing them before evening.

6. There is still time to sow sweet corn and cucumbers for planting outside in a sheltered site in mid June.

7. Feed bush and cane fruit with a high potash fertilizer.
8. Patches in the lawn can be oversown with grass seed.Loosen the surface of the soil and cover the seed with clear polythene to hasten germination.

May, Week Four

1. Time Saving Tip: After scarifying the lawn by rake or machine use the lawn mower, set high, to collect the debris for dumping or composting.

2. Money Saving Tip: Where you need privacy to sit out in the garden in summer grow a line of Jerusalem artichoke. They quickly grow to 2-3 metres(7-10 ft) high, forming a screen. The tubers make a wonderful soup.

3. Give the spring bulbs which have finished flowering a feed of general purpose fertilizer to build up their strength for next year.

4. Sow carrots and parsley thinly to avoid having to remove crowded seedlings. It is the smell of crushed foliage which attracts carrot fly.

5. Clear weeds from around bush fruit and strawberries to allow a movement of air.

6. Remove the dead flower heads from hydrangeas to allow the new shoots to take their place.

7. Grow some extra basil in pots which can be used in the greenhouse to attract white fly. They prefer basil to tomatoes. When covered in the pest the basil may be dumped or burnt.

8. Any peach leaves infected with peach leaf curl can be removed and burnt.

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