Spring is officially in full swing and everything in the garden is becoming lush and green right before our very eyes.
As the weather warms a little more each day it’s time to get out there and make a start on the gardening jobs for May. Our easy to follow guide is for anyone and everyone, so come back each month for planting advice and other jobs to be getting on with.
If you have recently sent or received a tree or plant gift from us and you aren’t sure what to do with it or you just need an idea of what needs doing in the garden keep on reading.
Native Tree Saplings in May
Springing to life. Our native tree saplings are just waking up from their winter slumber and their new soft growth is starting to peek through. The leaves unfurling more and more each day.
Send a sapling as a tree gift. As the saplings aren’t looking so bare anymore it’s the perfect time to send one as a gift so that the recipient can watch it come to life in their garden right before their eyes.
What to do with your tree gift in May. If you have received one of our tree saplings for an occasion in May and you’re not really sure what to do with it, just follow this advice.
Get planting. As the trees are coming out of dormancy it’s best to get them planted as soon as possible so they can become established ready for the summer. They can be planted either straight into the ground or started out in a pot. The choice is yours.
Rose Bushes in May
The first signs of life. While are rose bushes are still cut back it won’t be long until new growth starts to appear.
Send a rose bush gift. Rose bushes are great for sending to friends and family in May, whatever the occasion. They can watch the shrub grow into life over the coming months.
What to do with your rose bush in May. Take the rose bush out of it’s packaging and place out in the garden as soon as it is received. Our rose bushes are hardy English grown and should not be kept indoors.
Plant away. While the rose bush will be okay in its current pot for a few weeks we recommend planting as soon as possible as long as the ground isn’t waterlogged or frozen.
Container and ground growing. Find out where your rose bush will be the happiest living, whether that’s in a pot on the patio or planted out in a bed. Choose a nice sunny area to plant.
Regular Garden Maintenance in May
Mow, weed and feed the lawn. With the weather warming and frequent showers, the grass will be growing like crazy. Mow at least once a week if you can and remove weeds as you go. Add a feed to give extra growing power.
Weed soil regularly. As well as everything else coming to life, expect an onslaught of new weed growth. Aim for natural approaches when controlling the weeds and try to dig them out while they are still small.
Air out your greenhouse. On warmer days throughout the month open up the vents and windows of your greenhouse to circulate new air
Preparing Soil and Beds in May
Dig through some new nutrients. To give your plants the best start to the growing season, dig through some new compost or well-rotted manure to give everything that extra boost of growing power.
Mulch around your plants. Add a layer of organic mulch around your plants to lock in vital moisture as the weather starts to warm. Mulch helps to reduce watering, improves the texture of the soil and dampens down any rampant weed growth.
Watering Trees and Plants in May
Collect and recycle. Use water butts in the garden to conserve as much rainwater as possible and use this for watering the garden.
Optimise your watering and increase slightly. To get the most out of your efforts when watering, do early more or late evening to limit evaporation during the day. Increase watering on warmer days.
Don’t let new plants dry out. If you been hard at working planting up your garden, don’t let your efforts go to waste. New plants should be kept well watered until their root systems become more established.
Pruning Trees and Plants in May
Fig Trees. The second pruning of the year for Fig Trees should take place in late May. If your tree has put out new spring growth then cut this back by about 5-6 leaves. If not then hold off the pruning for a couple of more weeks.
Cherry and plum trees. Pruning of cherry and plum trees should be done while they are in their growing period and after they have finished flowering. This is usually around mid-May. Prune any dead or diseased branches and take out any that are facing inwards or crossing.
Apricot trees. Prune apricots between the months of March - June.
Lavender plants. Cut back the lavender by up to 1 inch of the current year’s growth and trim back older flower heads.
Spring flowering trees and shrubs. Once the flowering period has ended prune back.
Evergreen hedges. If you have an evergreen hedge, keep it looking neat, crisp and trim.
Potted Plants in May
Watering. Container grown plants are more prone to drying out. Keep an eye on them in warmer weather and don’t let the compost dry out completely.
Mulching. Help to minimise watering and retain moisture in the soil by adding a layer of organic mulch to the topsoil. This will also refresh the nutrients within the soil so the plant has a great growing season.
Watch out for late frosts and heavy rain. While the cold wet weather is becoming a thing of the past, be aware of any late winter snaps and heavy rains. Protect your potted plants and don’t let them become waterlogged.
Dealing with Pests in May
Check for aphids and blackfly. Aphids will easily take over a new plant when left undealt with. Remove by hand or spray with a mild soapy water solution.
Introduce natural predators. Help keep pests at bay by encouraging or introducing natural predators such as ladybirds and lacewings.
What to Plant in May?
Summer beds, borders and hanging baskets. Start planning and planting up your summer beds and containers now. Leave most tender plants til at least mid-May to ensure any danger of frosts has passed. You can keep these tender plants in a greenhouse until warmer outside.
Start a wildflower meadow. Sow the seeds for wildflower patches and meadows ready for the summer.
What’s Looking Good in May?
Lavender plants. Check out our May Tree of the Month, it’s fragrant and looking lovely!
Encouraging Wildlife in April
Protecting new wildlife. Birds are nesting and laying eggs around this time of year. Check hedges before trimming to make sure you won't be disturbing any nests and keep an eye on baby birds in the garden.
Fill birdbaths and feeders. Food for wildlife is becoming more prominent but keep birdbaths and feeders filled for any hungry passers-by.
Encourage bees, butterflies and more. Create habitats for insects to nest in and encourage them in the garden. Wildflower gardens for pollinators and bug hotels are a great way of doing this.
Indoor Gardening Advice for May
Water house plants more regularly. Growing is also resuming indoors and your house plants will be pushing out fresh growth like no tomorrow. Make sure to keep an eye on the soil moisture levels and don’t let them dry out.