Plants on sale now and looking good this month:

  • Summer bedding plants now available.
  • Tub and basket range now in.
  • Chillies, peppers, aubergines, melons, cucumbers and courgettes plants all now in.
  • Wide range of herbaceous perennials now on sale.
  • Aquatic plants in this month.

Top jobs for May:

Prune early flowering shrubs back now so that they have time to make new growth and flower buds for next year
Large Forsythia can be cut back hard, flowering currants trimmed a little and Camellias can be trimmed to reshape them. Spirea arguta, Chaenomeles, winter jasmine, Kerria, Choisya and Viburnum tinus will benefit from careful pruning and still have plenty of time to set flower buds for next year.

Time to plant up your hanging baskets and containers.

Give some of your border perennials the “Chelsea Chop”.
If you cut some of them back by about half now it will delay flowering but extend the display longer in your garden and create stockier plants less likely to flop over when wet and windy.

Earth up potatoes, and promptly plant any still remaining.

Plant out summer bedding.

Water early and late in the day to get the most out of your water. This minimises water lost to evaporation. Recycle water when possible.

Regularly hoe off weeds.
Apply mulch to trap in moisture and minimise weed growth.

Open greenhouse vents and doors on warm days.

Mow lawns weekly.

Check for nesting birds before clipping hedges.

Lift and divide overcrowded clumps of daffodils and other spring-flowering bulbs. Hosta also divide well this month.

Mix your grass clippings with drier materials such as shredded prunings, cardboard and newspaper.
Add a compost accelerator to each layer. Turn and water heaps regularly to make the best compost.