General tasks and garden maintenance for May
Watch out Mr Frost:
It is always worthwhile to anticipate late frost even in the month of May.
Don't be tempted to put out tender bedding, like Marigolds or Busy
lizzies or Begonias until the middle of the month and even then be
prepared to cover if necessary. Same applies to vulnerable new shoots.
Spring cleaning is never complete:
Hoe your borders and get rid of weeds before they take hold.
Dandelions are out in force right now, so spray with a systemic
weed killer such as Roundup. Just be careful not to spray on a
windy day as systemic weed killers are indiscriminate and will
kill anything they come in contact with. If you don't have time
to spray at least chop their heads off before they set seed.
Systemic just means that it enters through the leaf and kills
right down into the roots.
Manure happens...so keep on mulching:
Mulch away to your heart’s content while you can still see
where you are mulching before your herbaceous plants
cover over much of the beds. You can also use well-rotted
leaf mould or manure or soil conditioner.
Fertilise them beds:
As the soil is now warming up, it is the right time to add a general
purpose fertiliser such as Bone Meal. We recommend that you do
this before you mulch. Fruit trees and vegetables all need a
helping hand so feed these also. The best fertilizer we
recommend for fruiting plants or trees is Sulphate of potash.
On a driveway to Hell:
There's nothing surer than a pile of weeds in the driveway to drive us to
the nearest garden centre for a good weed killer. As soon as you see
weeds sprouting in your patio, you could spray with Pathclear, which
can be used on driveways, paths or patios.
Pathclear is a long lasting weed killer that not only kills existing
weeds but will prevent seedlings from germinating for approximately
3 months. As a result you should only use Pathclear if you have no inention
of planting in the sprayed area afterwards.
Its a Slugs life:
Unless you are a Buddhist or a pacifist, now is the time to wage war
on slugs and snails. They love tulips and delicacies such as the
delicious young shoots of delphiniums and the like, so use pet-friendly
slug pellets, drench the ground around hostas with liquid slug killer to
exterminate slugs below the surface. A cheap alternative is to invest in
a slug trap. You simply cut a 2 litre coke bottle in half and bury it near
your most delicate plants. Fill it with Guinness, the smell from the hops
attracts the slugs into the bottle and they drown.
Alternatively keep an eye out for snails and pick them off....what you do
with them is up to you. Birds are your friends here - flat stones artfully
located are useful accessories for birds to practise their snail bashing
Top 5 Bird Feeding tips for your garden friends:
1. Start with the basics - Peanuts & wild bird mix will be a welcome source of food for birds this time of the year.
2. Attract more species by adding additional types of feeders & seed - Try Nyger seed & sunflower seed to attract a greater range of
birds to your garden.
3. Don't forget about alternative foods & water - Suet, fruits, mealworms & water may attract species of birds not found with traditional
4. Make your garden bird friendly - Provide birds with habitat, food, water and nest boxes so birds will use your garden year-round.
Bird feeders near larger trees & shrubs often have more bird visits.
5. Keep birds safe - Reduce window collisions, keep birds safe from outdoor cats, and clean your feeders. move feeders to within 3
feet of windows, remove hiding places for cats and keep feeders free of debris and filled with seeds birds will eat.