Gardening: Monty Don lays out 'jobs for the weekend'
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May is a great month to get out in the garden and start planting, tidying and potting. May is often a month where many decide to prepare their gardens for the summer months when the weather is warmer and plants are in bloom. Gardening expert, Chris Bonnett, founder of GardeningExpress has created a list of essential gardening jobs to complete during May.
With ummer on the way, May jobs focus on getting the garden ready for the sunny season with jobs including planting final bulbs and taking care of the lawn for those who haven’t done so already.
By working through these gardening jobs, Britons can be sure their outside space will be in the best shape heading into summer.
Chris said: “May is all about summer prep, it’s the perfect time to complete small tasks that ensure your garden will thrive in warmer temperatures.
“This is the ideal time to begin planting vegetables and mulch your existing plants for their longevity.
“You can also start to plant the last of your summer bulbs, carry on deadheading and create some natural pest deterrents.
“By aiming to get this prep done now, you can make sure your garden is ready for you to enjoy throughout the summer.”
Here are the gardening jobs for May:
Lawn care will be in full swing at this time of year, with grass growing more rapidly in the lighter, warmer days.
Chris said: “If you haven’t begun taking care of your grass already then May is the perfect time to start getting it in shape for the hotter months.
“If your lawn is slightly overgrown, it’s advisable to keep the blades raised high and gradually lower them closer to summer.
“If you rush and attempt to cut it all in one go, you will be left with a very uneven finish.
“Patience is key for the best mowing results.”
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Make natural deterrents for pests
Those looking for poison-free pest deterrent options, they can consider using natural solutions to protect their garden growth.
The gardening guru said: “Consider these two solutions to protect your garden growth. Scoop out a grapefruit or melon and place it near your plants.
“The slugs will be more attracted to the fruit, allowing you to find them in your fruit trap in the morning and remove them from your garden!
“Alternatively, you can purchase natural wool pellets. Place around your plant and water.
“They soon expand and become an itchy deterrent that slugs refuse to go near.”
Plant your vegetables
Try something new this May and plant vegetables you’ve never grown before.
The expert explained: “You’ll have lots to choose from, as May is a great month to sow.
“Consider planting yourself some radish, turnips, cabbage, swede, beetroot or broad beans. By summer, you’ll have grown enough produce for a delicious soup and for fresh salads.”
Tomatoes are particularly great to grow in May.
Keep some young tomato plants in the sunny spots of the house before taking them into the garden to plant at the end of the month.
Chris noted: “Consider buying some less common varieties such as the quirky-looking, ‘Costoluto Fiorentino’ to bring vibrance into your garden.
“They’ll ripen just in time for the first barbecue of summer.”
Last chance to plant bulbs
With summer on the way, May is the last opportunity for bulb planting.
Those planning on having summer flowering bulbs in their garden such as gladioli, then they need to prioritise planting these in early May so they bloom for summer.
Tidy bedding plants
Be sure to deadhead spring flowers and water them well.
This will keep flower beds looking fresh and can ensure that they live to their optimal lifespan.
Pansies, for example, can last up until midsummer if cared for with proper maintenance during the spring months.
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