In The Flower Garden This May

Plant summer hanging baskets, adding good-quality compost, slow-release fertiliser and water-retaining crystals, to keep them in top condition. Protect them from late frost under cover.

Harden off half-hardy plants by leaving them outside during the day and bringing them back under cover at night for 7 to 10 days before planting outdoors.

Thin out drifts of hardy annuals.

Lightly cut back and tidy up late-flowering honeysuckle. Leave any big pruning jobs until winter.

You’ve still got time to plant any container-grown evergreen climbing shrubs now the risk of frost has passed.

Tie in rambing and climbing roses. Laying the stems horizontally will help to produce more flowers.

Trim lavender plants, cutting off old flower heads and about 2.5cm (1 inch) of the current year’s growth.

Look out for signs of blackspot on roses. If discovered, treat it with a systemic fungcide.

Continue to weed beds and borders. This reduced your plant’s competition for water and nutrients.

Top Tip:

Look after your finished spring bulbs for next year. Once they’ve gone over, resist the temptation to cut back the foliage. Instead, let it die and break down on its own and add liquid fertiliser all around the clumps. This will give you an even better display next spring.

This Month's Key Tips
  • Mow lawns weekly.
  • Plant out summer bedding towards the end of the month, when the weather gets warmer.
  • Open greenhouse vents and doors on warm days.
  • Watch out for late frosts. Tender plants will need protecting.
  • Water early and late to get the most out of your water, recycle water when possible.
  • Check for nesting birds before clipping hedges.