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May

May is generally a period of settled weather, sunny days and cool nights. Frost is common in many areas. It’s still a very important planting time for both flowers and vegetables. Most herbs grow far more prolifically in the cooler weather conditions. The garden is a beautiful place to spend time during the merry month of May.


  • May is the best month for planting up mixed hanging baskets with a selection of annuals and perennials.
  • Ideal time for planting out seedlings of alyssum, Iceland poppies, primroses, fairy primroses, bellis perennis, schizanthus, lobelia and a whole host of other flowers. Don’t forget pansies and violas grow best now.
  • Petunias and their smaller relatives called calibrachoas are in season now. They grow best in the dry season.
  • Feed flowering plants with water soluble fertiliser during the autumn and winter season. A 3:1:6 formula is the best.
  • Continue to disbud young seedlings to prevent them flowering too small.
  • Dead head flowering plants.
  • Stake climbing sweetpeas.

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  • Another important planting month for seedlings and seeds.
  • Plant out young plants of globe artichokes.
  • Protect cold sensitive crops from early frosts.
  • Harvest early crops of cabbages, cauliflowers and broccoli.
  • Plant leeks for winter and spring harvesting.

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  • The herb garden continues to grow prolifically. Replace any plants that are old or unproductive.
  • For something a little different plant a mixed herb hanging basket.
  • Potted herbs can be moved under cover to protect them from frost damage.

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  • Continue to harvest citrus and avocado crops.
  • Pick up all fallen fruit from under the trees and bury to prevent the spread of insect pests.
  • Mulch all fruit trees as far as the drip line extends.

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  • Plant out daffodil, narcissus and tulip bulbs.
  • Lilium bulbs are on offer now.
  • Indoor house plants always make a welcome display during the cooler months.
  • Start planting out new season flowering sub-shrubs and perennials like marguerite daisies, kingfisher daisies, nemesias, diascias, carnations, osteospermums and gazanias.
  • Check for aphids, especially on conifers and the new growth shoots of many garden plants.
  • Keep azaleas and camellias well watered as the garden begins to get drier.

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  • As growth slows the work load reduces.
  • Stop fertilising and spraying in colder areas but continue in warmer climates.
  • Reduce watering.

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  • Last cutting or mowing month.
  • Keep raking up leaves.
  • Sow winter evergreen grass seeds like All Seasons Evergreen or Shade Over.
  • Water evergreen grass type lawns through autumn and winter.

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  • In colder climates get ready for early frosts. Lay in stocks of frost cover to protect cold sensitive plants from frost damage.
  • Continue raking the last of the autumn leaves and putting them in the compost heap.
  • It’s a great opportunity to get on top of weed problems.
  • This is an ideal time to plant up pots and containers both new and old. Rejuvenate older pots by turning them out and planting up with fresh new plants. Potted plants need to spruced up regularly.

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