Peter’s Gardening tips for May 2016
The long wait for Spring has finally happened and WOW what an explosion of growth, colours to feast your eyes on, the noise from the birds, the smell of fresh cut grass…
Soaring temperatures and now heavy rain perfect growing conditions, also for slugs and snails, beware huge numbers this Spring because of a relatively mild Winter.
Dead head any bulbs, remove the whole of the dead flower, snap off or use scissors. Water in liquid feed to build up bulbs for next year – Miracle Gro, Phostrogen or Tomato food. Lift and divide blind bulbs, replant them two and half times the depth of the bulb.
Treat lawns for weeds unless you want a wildflower meadow. Don’t cut the grass too short as this encourages moss. Longer grass withstands more wear and tear, also dry conditions. Scarify and aerate the lawn if the weather allows, you need the ground moist but the grass dry!
Feed all plants especially in pots with a liquid feed or use slow release fertiliser granules.
‘Chelsea Chop’ – cut back leggy herbaceous plants by 1/3 -1/2, seems drastic but you will have more flower stems which are shorter. Some large clumps you can cut the front stems down and leave the back of the plant uncut, this will extend the flowering season!
Put in plant supports now before they get too tall. Pea sticks (cut hazel branches),or silver birch branches make more rustic supports.
Hedges if looking gappy or tired will appreciate a general purpose feed. Most gardeners forget to feed hedges yet they are so important. Starved hedges are more prone to disease and pests even established ones. Use up old fertiliser in the shed/garage or buy Growmore. In dry weather give a good soak to water in the fertiliser.
Seed sowing – This is the BIG seed sowing month for vegetables and annual flowering seeds. There are too many plants to list, I recommend you read the packets or go on-line direct to the seed companies, Marshalls, Kings, Thompson & Morgan, Suttons, Unwins, Garden Organic, Seeds of Distinction, Franchi…….
I am trialling 17 varieties of climbing beans, Borlotti and French for taste purposes, vigor and productivity! Steamed Borlotti beans are so creamy and tasty, so different to Runner beans. Try something different to grow youself!
Climbing plants, keep under control. Train up trellis, canes, pea and bean sticks, wires etc. Don’t be afraid to pinch out growing tips of clematis to encourage more stems and ultimately more flowers.
Weeds – dig up before they flower!!
Now for the pretty stuff……………
I insist you make time to visit gardens open with the National Garden Scheme, National Trust houses, RHS Gardens or Privately owned gardens open to the public for inspiration, relaxation, education and a real shot of enthusiasm. We can all get a bit stale in our own gardens and this is truly invigorating!
Bluebells, Rhododendrons, Japanese Acers, trees of all shapes, your local park or woodlands looking magical, share your pictures, ideas and gardening tips with friends and family and of course Silversurfers!!
One word of warning, frost is still possible so don’t plant out tender bedding plants just yet..
Please leave your gardening questions for me to answer this weekend. I was kept very busy last Monday at RHS Wisley answering gardening questions on the Gardening Advice desk!
Leave a Comment!
Community Terms & Conditions
These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.
You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.
be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.
Contributions must not:
contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.
Nurturing a safe environment
Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.
We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!