During May many diligent gardeners will start to see the fruits of their labour. Spring is well underway and British summertime is just a few weeks ahead. But this can bring changeable weather conditions, so watch out for unseasonable ground frosts and extended dry spells during this transitional month.

  • Hotting up. Rising soil temperatures mean it’s time to move your flowering plants and vegetables outside for their final growing phase. But these growing conditions are also perfect for weeds, which can take hold very quickly. Keep on top of these paying special attention to competitors sprouting up in your vegetable patch or young flower beds.
  • Fruit & Berries. Be sure to water fruit trees regularly throughout any dry spells. Spread straw underneath strawberry plants to prevent new fruit becoming rotting or mouldy on wet ground. Thin out raspberry plants and gooseberries for larger fruit.
  • Lawn care. With a cool April, you may not have had as many cuts as usual last month. Provided we are seeing consistent soil temperatures of at least 10 degrees we should see greening up of established lawns and new seeds taking hold. Continued seeding of new lawns may be required due to temperatures last month but be cautious not to water too frequently as this can further cool the soil. Aim to mow weekly in dry conditions.
  • Vegetables. It’s the perfect time to sow your spinach, radish, kale, peas, lettuce, broccoli and cauliflower under cloches or in the greenhouse to plant outside in late May. When all threats of ground frost have passed plant out tomatoes and courgettes that were sown undercover.
  • Earth-up potatoes. Prevent new tubers turning green by gathering soil up around the shoot of each plant, leaving just an inch or two or foliage above the soil.
  • Flowers. Delilahs started from cuttings can be planted now. Foxgloves, wallflowers and sweet williams can be sown outdoors this month and hardy annuals should be thinned out.

Milder temperatures this month can be a blessing for your garden but be wary of late ground frosts and keep plants and lawns well watered in dry spells. Follow our guide for May gardening and enjoy a vibrant summer display come June!

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