After months of preparation your efforts will be springing to life. Flowers will start flowering, providing plenty to keep the wildlife busy. Vegetable patched will be showing signs of growth.

May is a busy time in the garden but with longer days, warmer temperatures it is the perfect time to get planting and maybe even try something new.

In the garden

  • Liquid feed young plants regularly to keep them growing strongly
  • Sow half-hardy annual seeds outdoors where they are to flower
  • Tidy up Clematis montanaonce if it has finished flowering
  • Clear pots and containers to make way for summer displays
  • Prune spring-flowering shrubs once they have finished flowering

In the greenhouse

  • Introduce biological controls at the first sign of problems
  • Move tender plants out of the greenhouse once the risk of frost has passed
  • Pot on seedlings as soon as they are big enough to handle
  • Sow French beans in individual pots for planting out next month
  • Take softwood cuttings of herbs

On the allotment/vegetable garden

  • Plant out tender vegetables once the frosts have passed
  • Tie in tomatoes and keep liquid feeding them
  • Put straw under strawberries to prevent young fruit rotting
  • Sow sweetcorn in blocks to aid pollination and sow root vegetables
  • Earth up potatoes once growth reaches about 25cm
  • Plant out dahlias at the end of the month


May is also the month to weed and apply feed to the lawn. As it’s growing so well, the grass should fill the gaps left by any weeds that are killed off. Choose a dry day and follow the packet instructions.

General Jobs

Stay on top of the weeds if you can. A quick hoe once a week will keep them at bay and will mean they don’t compete for water, light or nutrients with the plants you want to grow.


Keep on top of watering – it is vitally important to keep plants irrigated, particularly in pots and containers. Place saucers under pots with thirsty plants. If you have planted new hedging during the spring, ensure that it is watered regularly during the first year. Install a water butt or make use of grey water during dry spells.