Gardening with Children

Family Zone

Things to do in the garden in May

Date Posted: 01 May 2013

Spring is well and truly with us although the weather is a little cooler than we would like, but Mother Nature carries on in earnest and at the moment there are some stunning displays of Hawthorn blossom, beautiful pure white flowers which look like blankets of snow covering the trees and hedges, their fragrance is unmistakeable but ...

there are plenty of gardening jobs to do now in May

General Jobs
  • Weeds seem to be growing faster than the crops so keep your eye on them and either Hoe or remove by hand as soon as possible, putting them in the Compost Bin (except for perennial and deep rooted weeds).
  • Keep Onion and Garlic beds weed free.
  • Collect any rainwater in Water Butts, although some areas have had plenty recently this may not continue and many areas are still desperately short.
  • Protect your tender seedlings, young plants, blossoms and flowers from frost with Fleece.
  • Slugs and Snails love this damp weather and with the mild winter they are about in larger numbers, protect plants with environmentally friendly Slug Gone or add Copper Tape to Containers, Pots and Raised Beds.
  • Give Pot grown fruit trees a liquid feed and keep watered in dry weather, pull off suckers that appear at the base of trees.
  • Protect Pear and Plum blossom from frost with Fleece but remove during the day to allow access to pollinating insects.
  • Protect Strawberry flowers from frost with Fleece or a Cloche removing during the day for pollinating insects. Pick any fruit from early Strawberries kept in a heated greenhouses. If you have any new spring planted Strawberries remove any flowers Raspberry Support With Extensionto encourage a larger more productive plant next year.
  • If you have an abundance of new Raspberry canes prune out the weaker canes to allow the remaining ones to produce stronger canes and better fruit and tie them onto your Raspberry Support.
  • Tie in new shoots of Blackberry and Loganberry plants.
  • Thin out Gooseberries if you want larger fruit.
  • Cover soft fruits with Netting or Fruit Cages to prevent birds eating them.
  • Plant any remaining ‘main crop’ potatoes and earth up any ‘early’ potatoes when the shoots are about 23cm high or before if frost is forecast.
  • Sow Carrots thinly in rows in fine, light, stone free soil and thin out any earlier sowings covering them with Enviromesh to protect from Carrot root fly.
  • Sow Beetroot in rows in soil that has not been recently manure.
  • Continue to sow salad crops Lettuce, Radish, Spring Onion in rows for a continuous supply.
  • Sow Peas into wide drills spacing the seeds about 5cm apart.
  • Repeat sowing of Parsnip in rows if an earlier sowing was unsuccessful (germination can take 3 weeks).
  • Provide support for Broad Beans.
  • Sow seeds of Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower and Kale in rows outdoors in a seed bed.
  • Sow seeds of Swedes, Turnip, Leaf Beet and Spinach outside in rows.
 In the Greenhouse/On your Windowsill/In the Propagator
  • Continue picking early sowings of Salad Leaves, Spring Onions, Radishes and windowsill Herbs.
  • Rhubarb is plentiful continue harvesting by pulling and twisting the individual stems at the base, put the poisonous leaves in the Compost Bin.
  • Asparagus Spears can be cut but leave if your plants are less than two years old.
  • Continue to feed birds and provide fresh water in your bird baths for the birds to drink and bathe in. Put peanuts into Birdfeeders as whole peanuts can choke young birds.
  • Sow Sunflower seeds (indoors/greenhouse) their large flowers will provide the birds with seeds during the winter mInstant Meadowsonths.
  • Sow a small Wildflower Meadow in your garden, allotment or school garden to provide food for beneficial Bees/Butterflies/Moths and other Pollinating Insects.
  • Put up House Martin Nest Boxes for the returning birds who haven’t got a home yet.



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