In The Vegetable Garden This May

Pinch out the growing points of broad beans as soon as beans start to appear at the base of the plant to reduce the risk of blackfly attack.

Harvest aspargus spears when they are no more than 18cm tall.

Thin out direct-sown vegetables such as spinach, carrot and lettuce seedlings, then water the rows well.

Continue earthing up potatoes.

Protect carrots from carrot fly by covering with horticultural fleece.

Make supports for you runner beans, using 8ft (2.4m) bamboo canes.

Harden off outdoor tomatoes, courgettes and pumpkins for planting early next month.

Support pea plants with twiggy sticks or pea netting.

Keep on top of weeding, weeds will compete with your vegetables for precious water, light and nutrients.

Top Tip:

Weed around your onions and garlic to reduce competition for nutrients and water. Apply an onion fertiliser to boost growth.

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 clippings hedges.