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Jobs for May

May, must be one of the busiest times in the garden. You could be busy every day sowing, weeding, pruning, spraying – the list goes on. Last week, I thought it was warm enough to drench the ornamental and vegetable beds with some nematodes. These microscopic worms should kill the slugs in my garden and greenhouse (I won’t go into how they do this – not pleasant!). It’s an organic way to tackle the gardeners’ number one enemy but it can be pricey so I’ll probably only apply once this season and hope for the best.

I love the rush of growth from perennials at this time of year. Peonies in particular seem to just shoot out of the earth with red coloured foliage that will turn green in time and provide an understated backdrop for the blousy blooms. I grow a candyfloss pink one called Sarah Bernhardt but I’d love to have more of them in the garden because they also make a cracking cut flower.


The greenhouse is packed full of Salvia and Nicotiana which are destined for the borders but with the cold Spring I haven’t dared do it yet - maybe next week!

  • Prune spring flowering shrubs like Forsythia
  • Plant out summer bedding after the last frost
  • Sow seeds of colourful annuals like Marigolds, Poppies and Nasturtiums
  • Sow salads seeds indoors and outdoors when weather warms.
  • Try to tackle weeds before they go to seed
  • Mulch borders to help prevent weeds
  • Spray plants or drench ground with nematodes to prevent slugs and other pests
  • When the weather warms plant runner beans and French beans outdoors
  • Mound up earth around the shoots of potato plants (known as ‘earthing up’)