• The Chichester Gardener

Gardening Jobs for May


We are so blessed to have a garden at this time, for the children to let off some much needed steam and for my wife and I to escape into and relax after the home schooling! Actually, as long term home schoolers we've found that home schooling works best for us outdoors, our children love to be outside and it is amazing how you can teach so much though even sowing seeds. Reading, writing and arithmetic can so easily be covered by reading seed packet instructions, writing plant labels and counting out/spacing seeds -and the children don't even realise they are learning on the job!


May is a wonderful month in the garden, the alliums and foxgloves are opening providing some much needed height and structure into the borders, the veggies are really taking off and everything is so lush and green.

As a horticultural therapist I know only too well the benefits that gardening can have on our mental and physical health and even more so at this time of lockdown and social distancing. For me personally I know gardening is an essential part of looking after not only my physical health but also my mental health on a daily basis.


Anxiety is sadly rife at this time, but gardening can help, GPs and the NHS are now prescribing gardening to help with anxiety and depression. The process of connecting with nature, focusing on a gardening task and experiencing the following

sense of achievement can really boost our mood

and sense of well being.


So what are we waiting for...here are some ideas of what you can be doing this month in the garden.


Sow/plant:

Sow salad, radish, beetroot direct and fast

growing annuals and biennials.

Plant out and direct sow French beans,

carrots, sweetcorn, squash and pumpkins.

Harden off plants before planting out,

but watch for a late frost.

Plant out sweet peas.

Prick out and pot on seedlings.

Prepare beds and borders - weed!

Thin seedlings.

Earth up potatoes.

Plant out dahlias.


Harvest/pick:

Tulips, alliums, broad beans, salad, radish,

pea shoots, chard, spinach, asparagus.


Secature/lopper jobs:

Deadhead any spring bulbs but leave the

foliage.

Chelsea chop late flowering perennials.

Cut back penstemons.

Take dahlia cuttings.

Prune early flowering shrubs once blooms

have finished.


Stake/support:

Start staking tall perennials before they get

too tall!

Tie in sweet peas.


Lawns and ponds:

Re edge, repair lawns and sow grass seed.

Mow when the grass starts growing but

not too short!



The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies, but never grows to the enduring happiness that the love of gardening gives. – Gertrude Jekyll