How to Keep Your Garden Looking Great in May
May is the month when we see lots of new growth in the garden and plants start to flower – bringing bursts of colour. With the longer, warmer days, May is the perfect time to get outside and enjoy your garden. But with all the gardening jobs that need to be done, how do you keep your plot looking its best?
There are a few things you can do to make sure that your garden stays in tip-top condition throughout the summer. If you don’t have a lot of space, you can try introducing some bright and colourful annuals into your borders or containers.
Use a combination of flowers and herbs to create an eye-catching display that will entice bees, butterflies and other pollinators to your garden. A mixture of echinacea, daylilies, bee balm, lavender, lobelia and sage will work well, as will ornamental grasses like bluebell, cow parsley and yarrow.
It’s also a good idea to plant a meadow in your garden, even in a small space. This is a great way to add a wild feel to your garden, and it’s also a fantastic place for insects, including bees, to find shelter during the heat of the summer.
A wildflower meadow is a beautiful and romantic addition to any garden, especially if it’s filled with a range of different flowers, such as purple lupin, lavender, daylilies, red hot poker and hollyhock. However, if you’re planning to make one, it’s a good idea to prepare the site before sowing the seed.
Now is the time to start planting warm-weather vegetables, including tomatoes, peppers, beans, cucumbers and squash. As you’re sowing your seeds, make sure to add a layer of mulch around them to retain moisture and protect against fungus diseases.
Sow a second round of tomato seeds a month later in June to extend your harvest window. You can also sow some seeds indoors and let them acclimate to the outdoors before transplanting them into your garden beds.
Stake perennials, biennials and foxgloves to help them grow more robustly. This is a key gardening job, as it means that your plants will remain sturdy and healthy during the growing season. Staking is best performed in May, before the plants are too tall for you to easily reach them by hand.
Alternatively, you can use willow sticks or jute netting to help support the stems of your taller plants. This is a more natural look than bamboo sticks or green plastic netting, and it can be easier to pull through.
Another important gardening task to undertake in May is to deadhead spring bulbs. This will prevent them from wasting energy on producing seed instead of flowering, which will make for a more rewarding garden this year.
Lastly, be on the lookout for aphids and other pests as they begin to appear in the garden, so take action quickly to tackle them. The warmer weather and plenty of fresh new growth makes it a prime time for pests to multiply, so be on the lookout and deal with them as soon as you spot them.
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