Gardener’s Diary – Top Tips for May 2019

Enjoy our monthly Gardener’s diary for some fantastic tips on how to keep your garden going through all of the seasons.

After a gorgeous Easter bank holiday weekend, we have all been disappointed with the cold and windy weather. Throughout May, hopefully we will see temperatures rising and summer beginning (we can all keep our fingers crossed). Here’s some tasks you can crack on with now May has begun… 

Watch out for late frosts

Frost can affect many plants, and is particularly damaging to tender new growth and blossom in the spring. Tender plants should be grown in a warm sunny spot e.g. against a south facing wall. Cover plants with a layer of horticultural fleece when the frosty weather is forecast, or move plants inside if possible.

Earth up potatoes

Potatoes require an open, frost-free site with deep, moisture-retentive and crumbly soil for high quality and heavy yields. Improve soils by adding organic matter, such as well-rotted manure, in the autumn. Before planting, supplement with a general fertiliser, such as ‘Grow-more’ or ‘blood, fish & bone’ applied to the soil surface during sowing. Once chitted, seed tubers can be planted in individual holes and earthed up as they grow.

Lift and divide daffodils

Once the foliage has died down, carefully lift and clean the bulbs. Trim back roots and the outer layers of loose, flaking tunic. Only healthy bulbs of a good size should be kept. Damaged or diseased bulbs must be discarded. Lay bulbs on a tray to dry for 24 hours to help prevent fungal rots developing in storage. Put the bulbs in labelled paper bags or nets and store in a dry, cool place.

It’s time for a spring clean

Hoe your borders to get rid of the weeds before they take hold. Give the tumbleweed treatment a try to tackle the stubborn weeds. Weeds can be controlled whenever they are troublesome, which is usually in the spring and summer months. It is a good idea to put weed barriers in place in late winter or early spring, as they work well as a preventative.

Just be careful

Carry on removing moss and weeds from paths, terraces and drives and keep an eye out for pests around the garden. Try to keep the use of chemicals to a minimum as they may kill off pests but also the beneficial insects. Be sure to check for any nesting birds when clipping back the hedges. The bird nesting season is usually considered to run from 1st March to 31st July so they could be getting comfy in your garden, so just keep your eyes peeled.

 

 

Published May 2nd, 2019 by Grace Brown. Article ref 5139

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