Thursday 3 May 2018

Gardening jobs...May

March winds and April showers bring forth May flowers...we hope! With the weather being so bad this year many gardens are up to a month behind where they usually should be. Better days are sure to be ahead and with the longer evenings there's more chances to catch up on those important jobs this month.

Leave spring flowers – Daffodils should finally be finished by now but don't cut back the foliage. I always leave it to die back naturally before clearing the dead leaves away. After that I water the (seemingly empty) patch with a mix of water and tomato feed. This ensures all the nutrients from the leaves goes back into next year's growth and the tomato feed helps to stop blind plants next year.

Forget-me-nots – The tiny blue flowers look so pretty but beware as they spread with ease. Control them now by digging up any clumps in unwanted spots.

Strawberries – They love sunshine and rain but be wary of them getting too wet. A layer of straw around the plants will help to protect them.

Tomatoes – Whether you have grown them from seed or bought plants then tomatoes need to be transferred to large individual pots or grow bags. I prefer large pots as grow bags don't have a great depth of soil in them and can get waterlogged easily.

Lawn care – With all the wet weather your lawn may be looking very long. Don't be tempted to cut it until it is dry as it will tear the grass up and could damage your mower. Once you do start to cut the grass a nitrogen fertiliser will do it good.

Sun and shade – If you are growing seedlings an plants in the greenhouse or in a sunny spot watch out for them getting too hot. In our first year at our allotment we lost a whole tray of sweetcorn as the heat frazzled the plants. On the flip side if you have a shady spot don't overwater your plants as they can get waterlogged or go mouldy.

Cut and come again – Bleeding hearts or dicentra can have two flowerings if you cut back after the first flowers have died. The second showing isn't as impressive as the first but still better than no flowers at all.

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