May Gardening Tips – Your Monthly Checklist

May Gardening Tips – Your Monthly Checklist

Your monthly checklist for May gardening tips. Our expert knowledge and advice will help your garden flourish this month.

May Gardening Tips

Fruit & Vegetables

Continue to sow.

  1. Sow sweetcorn in deep pots for successful transplantation into the garden in June.
  2. Sow dwarf and climbing French beans and runner beans directly outdoors in warm weather.
  3. Sow salad leaves and stir-fry crops in batches every few weeks for a continuous harvest.
  4. Keep seedlings well watered by using our range of spray gun products.

Improving your harvest.

  1. Thin out seedlings, such as carrots, from earlier sowings to promote healthy growth.
  2. Ensure pollinating insects can access flowers by opening fruit cage doors or lifting netting.
  3. Maximize fruit production by removing all strawberry runners.
  4. Harvest rhubarb stems as they develop and feed plants with liquid fertilizer.
  5. Harden off tender young plants, like tomatoes and courgettes, in preparation for planting in mild areas.

Protect your fruit & vegetables.

Fruit and Veg
  1. Cover potato shoots with soil by earthing up to promote healthy growth.
  2. Protect young seedlings or fruit blossom from late frosts by keeping plenty of fleece handy.
  3. Install pheromone traps in apple and plum trees from May to July to manage pests.
  4. Control snail populations by regularly hunting them down during damp evenings.
May Gardening Tips


Sowing, pruning and planting.

Helps Water Absorption
  1. Continue sowing annuals like poppies, corn marigolds and cornflowers for pops of colour from August to autumn.
  2. Prune shrubs like forsythia and chaenomeles after flowering to keep them compact and healthy.
  3. Plant tender annuals and summer bedding, including sunflowers, cosmos, and nasturtiums after the last frost.
  4. Plant out dahlia tubers and cannas once all risk of frost has passed for a stunning summer display.

Protect and control.

  1. Remove faded spring bedding, like wallflowers and forget-me-nots, and add them to your compost bin.
  2. Check lilies and fritillaries for scarlet lily beetles and their larvae, which can strip plants of all foliage.
  3. Harden off tender indoor-raised plants during the day and bring them back in at night to protect them from late frosts.
  4. Establish hanging baskets in a greenhouse or porch before placing them outside for a vibrant display.

Encourage new growth.

Gardener pruning citrus fruit in a greenhouse
  1. Tie in new shoots of climbing plants such as clematis, wisteria, and honeysuckle for a tidy appearance.
  2. Apply liquid feed to spring bulbs like tulips and daffodils to encourage a gorgeous display next year. Create your own liquid feed using the Bokashi composter.
  3. Add interest to shady borders with a selection of hostas and ferns for a lush and verdant display.
  4. Encourage bushier growth in young annuals and bedding plants, like fuchsias, by pinching out the shoot tips.
May Gardening Tips


Greenhouse maintenance.

What to grow
  1. Tie the stems of indoor tomatoes, cucumbers, and aubergines to canes as they grow.
  2. Put up shading to lower daytime temperatures and reduce scorching.
  3. Open doors and vents on warm days, but close them in the evening as nights can still be cold.

Greenhouse planting and care

Greenhouse maintenance
  1. Plant heat-treated freesia corms in pots for fragrant flowers this summer.
  2. Take cuttings of woody herbs such as hyssop, rosemary, and thyme, and root in pots of gritty compost.
  3. Keep pricking out seedlings as soon as they get their first true leaves, to avoid overcrowding and fungal diseases.

Greenhouse jobs.

  1. Water thirsty crops such as tomatoes, cucumbers, and courgettes regularly as the weather starts to warm up. Use a grow bag waterer for a more efficient way to water.
  2. Check plants regularly for pests, on shoot tips and the underside of leaves, and treat with biological controls if desired.
  3. Transplant tomatoes into growing bags or large pots, and tie their main stem to a cane or vertical wire for support.
April Gardening Tips

May Gardening Tips

General maintenance

1756 Pond Gloves-LOW
  1. Remove pondweed, blanketweed, and algae from your water features and ponds. Use a Pond Vac, Pond Grabber and Gloves to make the job easier.
  2. Repair damaged patches and create new lawns by sowing grass seed or laying new turf by month-end.
  3. Build sturdy wigwams and supports for climbers such as sweet peas, morning glory, and runner beans.
  4. Condition your wooden garden furniture for summer with a wood treatment application.

Garden care.

EasMix Composter
  1. Prevent eye injuries by adding soft tops to canes in your pots, borders, veg plots, and greenhouses.
  2. Check for nests in shrubs before pruning to avoid disturbing nesting birds.
  3. Avoid weed establishment and seed set by hoeing bare soil and hand-weeding beds weekly. Use our Weed Control products to irradicate weeds from your garden.
  4. Recycle more green waste by setting up an extra compost bin or worm bin. Try our EasyMix 2-in-1 Composter to give your garden soil the care it deserves.
  5. Maintain hygiene by regularly cleaning out and scrubbing bird feeders.

Garden improvements.

  1. Create walkways through wildflower areas by mowing grass pathways.
  2. Keep your topiary looking neat and promote bushy growth by trimming it regularly.
  3. Support clumps of perennials, like peonies or phlox, prone to flopping with sturdy supports in place.
  4. Watch out for aphids on shoot tips and young foliage and treat them with a soap-based solution or wipe them off.
  5. Encourage leafy growth by applying nitrogen-rich summer lawn feed to your lawn.

We hope you enjoyed reading about the top gardening jobs in May. If you’d like to get involved, drop us a comment below with your plans for this month!

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