It’s time to swing into action: May is when the show really starts to get on the road. Everything seems to grow at once as tulips sing from their beds of wallflowers, peonies unfurl their petals and the earliest broad beans plump up nicely. It’s a good time of year to be a gardener – so here are the jobs you can be getting on with this month:
- Feed the compost bin with clippings from the weekly lawn mow, mixed with drier material like straw or torn-up newspapers, to rot down into rich dark brown crumbly soil improver for your garden.
- Lift and divide pond plants as they get too overgrown and begin crowding out their neighbours. Replant in specialist aquatic compost in perforated baskets.
- Repot agapanthus once they start to burst out of their pots, but don’t move them to too large a container as they flower better when they’re a little rootbound.
- Plant tender annuals outside such as tithonias or zinnias once the weather is reliably warm; if you haven’t tried these exotic beauties, pop into the garden centre and pick up a potful today.
- Plant out dahlia tubers once the last frost has passed, giving them a sunny spot in rich, moist soil and protecting new growth from slugs.
- Harden off vegetable seedlings ready to go outside, leaving them outdoors for a little longer each day till they’re used to the cooler conditions.
- Plant summer cabbage – you’ll find baby plants as plugs on sale in the garden centre right now. Plant 45cm apart and firm them in well after planting.
- Sow coriander direct where it’s to grow into warm, crumbly soil. This aromatic salad herb grows really fast, so resow every three or four weeks for a continual supply.