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The Magnificence Of May

May 3, 2012

May is my favourite month of the gardening year as spring moves into summer and the weather warms up, and nearly everything in the garden is in full leaf. Lovely spring flowering plants in our gardens will soon give way to super summer flowering blooms.

If you’re tempted to dash out and buy your bedding plants, I’d advise that you wait for a while until the middle of the month as there still could still be some sudden sharp frosts at night, so just keep an eye on the weather forecast. If however you have a greenhouse, then you could store them in there for the time being.

Around this time of this month, you could now give your lawn a good “feed and weed” as a lawn in good condition really sets off a garden. Also don’t forget to mow regularly to encourage healthy growth.

If you have any evergreen shrubs which may have been damage by frost during winter, then this is a good time to give them a pruning to generally tidy them up and get them back into shape. Early flowering shrubs and climbers such as Kerria japonica and Clematis Montana can also be pruned around this time now. Evergreen hedges can now be given a trim, but only give them a light trim just to keep its shape and this will make it easier to cut next time.

If you would like some plants for free, then now is a good time to take softwood cuttings from shrubs. Most shrubs in the garden will now be producing young fresh shoots and these will be excellent for softwood cuttings. Another economical way to get some splashes of summer colour into your garden is with flowering annuals, and these can now be sown directly onto the soil.

If you enjoy eating runner or French beans then try planting some now. I think that this crop has such pretty flowers and can quite easily be incorporated into any garden and can look attractive growing over supporting structures. If you want your very own fresh salad than have a go at growing some salad crops this month too.

As the weather warms up this month don’t forget to get into the habit of watering your garden; also start feeding any hungry plants in the garden, particularly those in containers and in hanging baskets.

By putting in some extra effort this month, your garden will get a good head start and not only will it start looking good, but your efforts will pay off later in the summer months.

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