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May Jobs

15 Minute Read
Our full guide to all of the jobs to do in the garden in May
What to do in the garden in May
As one of the best months for gardening, you will notice your garden truly coming to life in May, helped along by the good weather at this time of year many plants will be getting themselves ready for a spectacular summer display. 

The weather is usually quite pleasant in May, you can expect temperatures to be warming up but do be aware of any late frosts before tendering plants outside for the summer months.

If you are planning on laying new turf or lawns, it's best to do this before it gets too dry, so keep an eye on the forecast as It is generally much drier and warmer in May than in previous months. If you have a greenhouse, make sure to ventilate regularly and place any young plants in the shade away from direct sunlight. 

Make sure to keep all newly planted trees, shrubs and plants well-watered during dry spells, especially once first planted out and add a layer of mulch to help with water retention within the soil. This is also the time to ensure all weeds are kept on top of and nipped in the bud early, do this by raking or hoeing the ground to catch them before they develop and spread. 

Enjoy the warmer weather this month and watching your hard work starting to pay off in the garden! 

Important: don't forget to keep an eye on plants regularly for signs of pests!

Ornamental Garden:

  • This month is a fast period of growth. Late frosts may catch early blooms  – remove any damaged growth.
  • Spray roses with Rose Clear or similar.
  • Keep on top of weeding. 
  • Continue to remove spent flowers of spring bulbs but not the foliage until it has withered and yellowed.
  • Chelsea-chop time – If the nepeta and sedums are looking leggy then cutback by a third to encourage compact growth that will not collapse later in the season. This can be applied to the lavender, echinops, echinacea, aster, helenium and salvia too if felt necessary.
  • Trim rosemary, thyme and sage if not done in April.
  • Cutback withered daffodil or tulip stems once they have turned yellow.
  • Trim grass edges of borders regularly to keep neat and tidy.
  • Prune spring flowering clematis after it has flowered.
  • Stake and support herbaceous perennials if necessary.
  • If daffodils gave a poor show lift and divide bulbs and replant.
  • Continue deadheading spring bulbs.
  • Start hardening off tender plants for planting out.
  • Plant out dahlias towards the end of the month.
  • Protect new plants from hungry slugs and snails.    

Vegetable Garden:

  • Harvest Asparagus.
  • Direct sow French beans and sweet corn if weather is warm enough.
  • Start earthing up potatoes. 
  • Harvest early crops such as radish / lettuce etc.
  • Avoid planting tomatoes too early as they suffer if exposed to temperatures below 12°C.
  • Sow pumpkins, cucumbers, courgettes, squashes under cover now and outdoors towards the end of the month.
  • Lift and divide mint. 
  • Mulch fruit plants

Other jobs around the garden:

  • Feed & mow established lawns.
  • Apply treatment to weeds within lawns.
  • Keep on top of weeds by regularly hoeing ground.
  • Keep the garden tidy and free of debris.
  • Keep on top of watering - if the weather is warm make sure to do this daily to ensure the ground isn't dry.

Top products for May Gardening

20 Cell
Multi-Tray x10

The multi-cell trays are an ideal and cost effective way of raising bedding plants and other plants that can be collectively sown and distributed. Made from high impact polystyrene, with a unique beam design for extra strength.


Sportsmaster Pre Seeder Fertiliser

Use in advance of seeding a new lawn or when seeding over an established lawn. Contains high levels of phosphorous for quick root establishment. 


Melcourt Sylvagrow with John Innes

Sylvagrow is a unique blend of fine bark, wood fibre and coir plus sterilised loam and sand. It contains balanced nutrients sufficient for the first 4–6 weeks of growth. Does not contain peat or green waste compost.


Black Heavyweight Pots x10

These heavyweight plants pots are made from recycled materials and are designed to last several seasons. These pots allow for optimal root growth and ensure a reduced cultivation time. Available in a range of sizes. 


Melcourt Composted Fine Bark

Melcourt Composted Fine Bark is an organic matter-rich soil conditioner, suitable for a wide range of professional and domestic applications, particularly when it is required to improve the soil structure, quality, organic matter levels and water holding capacity. 

Groworganic Fertiliser

Groworganic 100% concentrated fertiliser is composted, processed and oven heated to produce a safe and weed free product. For use on lawns, roses, flowers vegetables, fruit and shrubs. One bag will treat up to 209 square metres.

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