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The phoney war of the spring is almost over and battle is set to commence. Longer warmer evenings will begin to lure us all out and a month with two bank holidays will  usually pack out your local garden centres - so think ahead if you need anything and don’t fancy joining the shopping throng.  

  1. GENERAL TIPS

  2. Prepare the soil for bedding plants

  3. Mulch borders after a good downpour of rain.

  4. Staking of all trees and shrubs should be checked.

  5. Watch out for late frosts.

  6. Check your water lillies and divide if necessary.

  7. Keep on top of weeds by persisting with weeding and hoeing – cut them off nice and early before they become established.

  8. Plant up troughs, planters and baskets no earlier than the middle of the month.


  9. VEGETABLES

  10. Keep an eye on the weather and water regularly during dry spells

  11. Continue with successive sowings of lettuce, beans, turnips and carrots.

  12. Plant Brussels sprouts.

  13. Plant out leeks.

  14. If early potatoes are through protect them by earthing up the soil around the crowns.

  15. Thin lettuce, onions and turnips if you have sown them from seeds..

  16. At the end of the month you can plant out tomatoes, marrows, cucumbers, spring cabbage, celery and cauliflower.

  17. Pinch out the tips of broad beans.

  18. Stake peas and beans.


  19. FRUIT

  20. If necessary fruit should be watered and as the fruit is swelling a light feed can be given.

  21. Thin gooseberries and spray against insect and fungal pests, but not on open blossoms.

  22. Watch for gooseberry sawfly and spray if necessary.

  23. Towards the end of the month thin vines and net against birds.

  24. Put straw down for strawberries and protect the fruit from birds.


  25. FLOWERS

  26. Harden off bedding plants.

  27. Support perennials

  28. Sow hardy annuals for the autumn.

  29. Thin out early seedlings.

  30. Dead head spring flowers.

  31. Divide and replant polyanthus, aubrietia and Christmas roses.

  32. Plant lilies, stocks, asters outside and start bedding out.

  33. Stake and tie tall herbaceous plants.


  34. SHRUBS

  35. Check roses for pests and disease and spray straight away if necessary.

  36. Mulch newly planted shrubs.

  37. Prune laurels and spring flowering shrubs such as lilacs, forsythia and flowering currant.


  38. LAWN

  39. Mow weekly

  40. Apply weed killer.

  41. If it’s dry, water new lawns frequently.

  42. New turf can be laid, but do not let it dry out in hot spells.


  43. GREENHOUSE

  44. Sow seeds of rockery plants.

  45. Remove side shoots of tomatoes – and keep checking throughout the season.

  46. Keep your greenhouse well ventilated and check cold frames and ventilate.

  47. Take geranium cuttings for autumn flowering.

JANUARY
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MAY
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OCTOBEROctober.html
NOVEMBERNovember.html
DECEMBERDecember.html

  MAY

Clematis montana may be a common sight - but give it a warm position, away from strong winds, step back and watch it go. A profusion of white flowers like these against typically dark foliage make a striking contrast and provide a marvellous sight before the main flowers of summer.

MAY - TIP OF THE MONTH