From the garden: Neil’s maintenance tips for May

May is one of the most exciting times for your garden, and there are plenty of tasks you can now busy yourself with. However, although the milder temperatures and drier weather will finally have become more consistent, it’s important to remember that your plants aren’t out of the woods yet! Be wary of the occasional frost and showers, and if these the former does occur, keep your plants protected by wrapping them in suitable coverings until it passes. This is especially vital for fruit blossoms!


Although now is a good time to plant hardy annuals, such as marigolds and poppies, and sow vegetable seeds, one of the most important things to do in the garden in May is maintain your existing plants by continuing to deadhead them. As this involves removing any dead flowers to encourage fresh ones to bloom, it will keep your garden bright and full of interest.


To encourage healthy growth, you should also feed your hungry trees, shrubs, and hedges by carefully mixing a slow-release fertiliser into the soil with a gardening fork.


Neil Gallagher from our grounds maintenance division shares his knowledge on what you should do in

the garden in May…


Repair bare patches in your lawndirty trowel resting on a patch of grass that has been recently dug up


Last month, we advised that if your lawn was long enough, you should give it a light mow on dry days. However, as summer edges nearer, it’s time ensure your lawn is looking its best by checking it for any bare patches and taking the necessary steps to repair these by reseeding the area or using other parts of the turf. As RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) explains, this task is best completed in either spring or autumn as the lawn will recover better in damp and cool weather.


Whether you use seed or turf to repair your lawn will up to you, though both methods will require you to cut out the damaged section, and lightly fork over the area. To reseed the lawn, you should sprinkle compost over the area, scatter the grass seeds, and cover them with more compost. to use turf, place a healthy piece of turf in this area, add a top-dressing, compress the turf’s edges, and water the area.


Increase watering of indoor plants


When the weather gets warmer, you don’t just need to up the maintenance of your garden; the plants in your home or workplace will also benefit from some much-needed TLC! Although different types of plants and flowers will need a different amount of water, as a general rule, you should check them at least once every few days to prevent them from drying out. However, cacti and succulents can be left for longer periods without being watered (if needed).


When it comes to your exterior plants, you should start checking any that are grown in containers for moisture every day, and continue to do this until the early autumn (around September). If the weather is particularly warm, you should check the plants twice a day.


Protect your plants with structures

a rose bush climbing a stone wall


If any of your plants need supports (such as fences, pergolas, and arches), you should be installing them in your garden or grounds in the early stages of their growth. This will allow them to grow through the supports, causing minimal damage. As Rose Climbers, Honeysuckle, Clematis, and many other climbing plants have their first growths in spring, May is the perfect time to tie them to their supports, as tying in new stems will train the climbers to grow along their support.


As well installing supports for your climbers, you should also be staking large perennial plants, as these should be tall enough to be knocked over by heavy rains and rain (and even the occasional frost). Some herbaceous perennials, such as peonies and dahlias, may also need staking as they can split and droop under the weight of their own flowers.


Want more advice on getting your lawn ready for summer? Need some guidance on which supports are suitable for your plants? Get in touch with the experts at phs Greenleaf!