Garden Calendar

May's Jobs:

In the Vegetable Garden
  • Harvest rhubarb, picking only a third of the total amount of stems.
  • Thin out direct-sown vegetables such as spinach, carrot and lettuce seedlings then water the rows well.
  • Harden off outdoor tomatoes, courgettes and pumpkins for planting early next month.
  • Plant out brassicas and leeks to their final positions.
  • Protect crops from carrot fly by covering with horticultural fleece or enviromesh.
  • Pinch out the growing points of broad beans as soon as beans start to appear at the base of the plant to reduce the risk of blackfly attack.

In the Flower Garden
  • Harden off half-hardy plants by leaving them outside during the day and bringing back under cover at night for 7 to 10 days before planting outdoors.
  • Trim back spreading plants such as aubrieta, alyssum and candytuft after they have flowered to encourage fresh new growth and more flowers.
  • Divide Hostas as they come into growth
  • Take softwood cuttings of shrubby herbs (such as sage and lemon verbena)

In the Fruit Garden
  • Young fruit trees need to be well watered whilst they are putting on rapid growth.
  • Remove blossom and fruits from newly planted fruit trees to allow them to establish properly during their first year.
  • Surround strawberries with straw to protect fruit.
  • Regularly check the centre of your gooseberry bushes for the green gooseberry sawfly caterpillars. They will quickly skeletonise the leaves if not removed.
  • Erect netting around your soft fruit plants to prevent birds eating your crop.

Courtesy of  and RHS websites