Temperatures are starting to rise but there can still be frosts in some areas. Keep an eye on your local weather forecasts, and remember to protect any plants which need help such as hanging baskets and early blossoms on fruit trees and fruit bushes.
Your lawn should be starting to flourish by now, time to get the mower out. Depending on your lawn, you may need to start mowing on a weekly basis. Ideally lawn should be rolled before cutting to iron out any winter frost heave and checked for stone etc that could damage the mower blades and become a missile. The first cut should always be a light top trim. Then trim the edges with a half moon edging tool to keep a neat appearance. Lawn weed and feed can be applied to bring the lawn to condition.
Weeds which have sprouted through your paths, drives or paving can be tackled with a weedkiller designed especially for that purpose. Perennial weeds such as dandelions will re-grow from the roots if you only remove the leaves. The best way to remove them is to dig out the roots or spray with a weedkiller containing glyphosate.
Prepare to plant out greenhouse tomatoes by hardening them off gradually ready for going outside when the risk of frosts have passed. If you are opting to keep them in, make sure to tie them in and feed them regularly and air the glasshouse on warm days. Cucumber, Squash or Courgette seedlings can also go outside towards the end of the month. Make sure the soil is warm and dry before you plant them out though.
With fresh growth soon appearing on any climbers in your garden, now is the time to provide them with support such as trellis or wire. Tie in climbing and rambling roses such that their stems are nearly horizontal. This will encourage the rose to throw out side shoots which will produce more blooms.
It’s official. Salad season is upon us! Start off May by sowing Beetroot, Lettuce, Watercress, Rocket, Celery and any other salad leaves. Make sure you sow them every few weeks, thus ensuring a constant supply throughout the summer. Remember to water them on a regular basis and if space is limited, Chillies and Sweet Peppers are ideal for growing in containers. As May progresses, you can plant more seeds such as Parsley, Chives, Endive and Radishes.
Agapanthus, Hemerocallis, Primulas and Water Lilies can be safely divided now ready for new growth. Container grown roses and shrubs can also be safely planted out once the frosts have passed. Spring-flowering shrubs such as Forsythia, Ribes, Pyracantha and Chaenomeles need to be pruned once they have finished flowering.