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This month’s gardening tips

May in the garden

When April steps aside for May,

Like diamonds all the rain drops glisten;

Fresh violets open every day

To some new bird each hour we listen.

[Lucy Larcom]

A wide range of summer flowering annuals is available this month so it is a good time to plant up your hanging baskets and patio pots.  However, keep an eye on the weather.  If there is warning of a late frost then cover your plants with fleece or move them indoors.

  • As the temperature rises, bugs will become more active and some, such as aphids, will start to attack your plants.  Have some insecticide at hand – “Provado” is a good all-rounder.
  • Now is a good time to start to control lawn weeds.  This can be done with a “selective” (ie it only kills the weeds) weed killer such as “Verdone”.  Another option is to use a granular (ie soluble) all-in-one lawn fertiliser with a weed killer in the mix, such as “Lawn Builder”.
  • Keep feeding the birds.  There will be many more mouths to feed as young chicks hatch.  One of the more colourful garden birds is the Goldfinch.  It is attracted by Niger seed, dispensed from a hanging feeder with tiny feeding holes around it, so that only small seed eating birds can collect the food.
  • There is plenty to do in the kitchen garden this month.  It is a good time to sow French or runner beans, cabbage or cauliflower, peas, spring onions and much more!  If you have a greenhouse try planting peppers, cucumbers or melons.



May’s Plant of the month

 

Choisya Ternata “Mexican Orange Blossom”

Valued for its white star-shaped flowers that are produced late Spring and pervade the air with a sweet fragrance.  This is an evergreen with attractive, glossy, deep green leaves.  It performs best in a sunny site, sheltered from cold winds and with well drained, fertile soil.

There is a golden leaved form called, ‘Sundance’ (although it does not produce as many flowers).  Both varieties reach a height of about 2.5m (8’) but if you are looking for something smaller, there is a more recent introduction called ‘Brica’ and this only grows to about 1.8m (6’).