• The Chichester Gardener

Gardening Jobs for May

May


With the evenings lengthening day by day and the hope of soon seeing friends and family properly, hope is in the air. May is a magical month in the garden, new growth is appearing everythere you look and the blossom, tulips, alliums and magnolias are out in force.


It's a very busy time in the garden with lots to be done, but it's exciting. The joy of seeing recently sown seeds germinate and perennials come back to life after the harsh winter is amazing.


Here in West Sussex we've hopefully had our last frost, but you can never tell, so the fleece will be at the ready!


What you put in to you garden now will reap benefits later on in the summer so here are some ideas of what you could be doing this month.



What to do in the garden this month:


Sow/Plant:

Sow salads, radish, carrots, beetroot direct.

Make a sowing of runner, climbing and dwarf beans, cucumbers, sweetcorn, squash and pumpkins under cover to give them a head start.

Sow annuals including cosmos, sunflowers, nicotiana.

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 to die back.

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.

Make bean supports.



Lawns and ponds:

Re edge, repair lawns and sow grass seed.

Mow when the grass starts growing but not too short!

Or why not try leaving an area of grass to grow, you'll be amazed at the insects and pollinators it attracts!



Gardening adds years to your life and life to your years. – Unknown