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  • Monthly Gardening Tips

    May


Top Tips

-Remove flowers that have finished promptly to ensure a continuity of bloom – this is known as deadheading and stops the plant wasting energy in producing seeds that are unwanted.
-Continue spraying your roses against pests and diseases so that the plants remain clean when the flowers start. Now would be a good time to look at some of the newer disease resistant varieties that we have in stock now.
-Help the environment (and save money too) by composting as much of your garden waste as possible.

Houseplants

-Many house plants can be propagated from cuttings at this time of year – use hormone rooting compound and push them into compost around the edge of a small pot and cover with a polythene bag with holes in, kept off the foliage with sticks to prevent rotting.
-Be careful that Houseplants on windowsills do not scorch on hot sunny days – move them away from south facing windows.
1If your House plants are showing signs of being pot bound, when you knock them out of the pot. Now is a good time to re-pot when growth is active.

Lawns

-Newly laid turf or freshly seeded areas should be watered very frequently in dry weather.
-It is a good time to repair bare patches in the lawn by re-seeding – rake the area to a fine tilth before seeding, adding top soil or lawn dressing if needed, sow the seed evenly and tamp down gently and water in. Bird activity can be reduced by protecting the area with black cotton on sticks.
-Start applying summer lawn foods now – remember to water them well in.

Grow Your Own

-Remember to ensure that fruit trees and bushes are kept evenly moist, as a dry spring can result in them dropping an excessive amount of fruit.
-Plant out warm weather crops such as Tomatoes, Squashes, Cucumbers and Peppers.
-Many of the most popular vegetables can be sown now e.g. Carrots, Lettuce, Beans and Peas. They are particularly good harvested young as baby vegetables – they can be sown closer together and not thinned – they are tastier and much cheaper than buying from the supermarket.
-The first strawberries may start appearing now – the birds will be waiting for them as much as you are and therefore you will need to net as soon as you see them. You can apply a straw mulch now to protect the fruit from excess wet and mud – this will also rot down and improve the fertility and structure of the soil.

Greenhouses

-Check that the greenhouse is well ventilated on those sudden hot days as the temperature can rocket causing damage to young plants.
-Check more frequently for watering as the increased growth rate and higher temperatures will mean plants need for water markedly increases.
-Indeterminate or Vine Tomatoes will start needing the side shoots removed from the leaf axils to encourage maximum cropping and then have the main shoot tied to a cane or stake.

Tree, Shrubs & Hedges

-Lilacs should be pruned after flowering has finished, removing suckers from the base and finished blooms. Feed after pruning. They can be cut back harder if required as Lilacs will grow back strongly from old wood – hard pruning may diminish flowering the first year but subsequently they will flower as normal.
-Hydrangeas can be treated with Hydrangea Blueing compound now to ensure electric blue flowers on the relevant cultivar. Water well in and do not get it on the plant.
-Early flowering shrubs such as Forsythias, Ribes and Spiraea arguta can be pruned after they have finished flowering by removing the oldest stems to ground level and pruning the remaining younger stems back by a third.
-Evergreen hedges can be given their first trim of the season – the clippings if not too woody can be mixed in to the compost heap.

Flower Garden

-Check that taller herbaceous plants have sufficient support as they grow.
-The frosts will finish mid-month and so all tender bedding plants can be put out now – plants that you have in the greenhouse can be hardened off now before planting out and may also need shading initially.

Water Garden

-Remove blanket weed from ponds by twirling a rough stick through it – floating plants like Duckweed which have become overgrown can be removed with a net. Any material that you remove from the pond should be left on the side of the pond for 24 hrs to allow any creatures in it to return to the pond and then add it to the compost heap.
-New aquatic plants can be still be purchased and will establish quickly now.

Bents Garden & Home, Warrington Road, Glazebury, Nr Warrington, Cheshire, WA3 5NT    Tel: 01942266300    E-mail: howcanwehelp@bents.co.uk
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