Sowing and Planting
Plant out your tender bedding bedding plants
and vegetables now. Remember to water them in well afterwards to enable them to
You can sow runner beans directly into the soil which is warm enough to produce fast-growing plants which will supply you with a good crop later in the summer.
Your baskets and containers can go
out now too, but keep them in a sheltered warm place.
This is the time to watch out for
pests and diseases. Aphids, red spider mites, whitefly, caterpillars are all
among the pests to look for. It is worth checking your garden daily, as they
can appear very suddenly you can take appropriate action immediately. It’s
useful to just keep some insecticide or soapy water spray to hand.
Powdery mildew is worth looking out for if it has been dry. Remove any affected leaves to the ground.
Deadhead your summer flowering
plants regularly to encourage more flowering. Remember to implement the ‘Chelsea Chop’ on your late-flowering perennials. I find in
Scotland this is later than in the south. I don’t have much to chop after Chelsea (end of May) so I’ll be doing mine in mid to late June. Cut back the top half of some of each of your herbaceous flowering plants and you will have continuous flowering over a longer period of time.
Tidy up any early flowering plants
(azaleas and camellias for instance) by removing the rotting flower heads.
Remove old leaves and flowers from hellebores.
As your climbers send out new long
shoots – tie them into their supports, taking care not to damage them or squash
them against the support.
Any early plants that are looking
straggly, or that have developed mildew (pulmonaria for instance) can be cut
back to the ground. Give them a good foliage feed and you will get fresh new
Remember to keep your crops watered.
Establish a regular routine for your tomatoes, ensuring they do not dry out.
Irregular watering causes them to split. Start feeding them as soon as the
first truss has set.
Keep berry bushes under nets to
ensure the pigeons don’t take them all!
Earth up your potatoes and when the first flowers appear start watering them well to create larger tubers. You can also start digging up young
tubers at this point for some lovely new potatoes.
Mow lawns when it is dry, and you
can apply a high-nitrogen feed in wet weather.
Maintenance and Planning
spring up everywhere this month. Keep on top of them along the sides of paths
and in between paving stones. I find a good strong knife is the best tool to
slip down the edges of paving and tease out those weeds!
Keep and eye on
border invaders too – sticky weed will appear out of nowhere, so pull it out as
soon as you see it!
Take softwood cuttings from your favourite plants and grow them on to provide stock for next year.