May is a good month to plant almost any evergreen shrub, tree, ground cover or perennial while there is still warmth in the soil and rain to provide moisture. Through winter these plants usually grow an extensive root system which makes a launching pad for rapid spring growth a few months later on. The only planting category that is best avoided at this time of the year is the tropicals.
Now is a great time to take cuttings and propagate your native plants. Grab your cuttings and plant them directly into a propagation mix for best results.
Mother’s Day is the second Sunday in May and it’s always an opportunity to say thanks to mum with a living gift. A list of possibilities would be endless but potted flowering plants like cyclamen, poinsettias flamingo flower, moth orchids and chrysanthemums are always popular. Pot in top quality mix such as Baileys Premium Potting Mix.
This is a good time to prepare your soil for winter plantings of roses, deciduous fruiting and ornamental trees with Baileys Soil Improver Plus.
Plant bare root roses while these are dormant, in other words sleeping.
Lift and divide rhubarb if the stems are getting progressively thinner. Replanting these can give your plant a new lease of life resulting in thick flavoursome stalks.
Potatoes can be planted now that reliable rain can take over from hand watering. Check the variety of the seed potatoes you buy because there are now some exciting different types to grow.
This is a great time to plant the onion tribe. Onions, chives, shallots, leeks and garlic all thrive in cool winter conditions.
It's not too late to sow broad beans. Remember young foliage as well as flowers can be eaten, both have lovely subtle flavour. Baby broad beans can be cooked and eaten whole.
Brussels sprouts can easily get top heavy as the crops develop. To prevent them toppling over, support them with tomato stakes.
Now is a great time to prune; reducing the canopy now means that, come winter, the rain can get to the roots easier. It also reduces the chances of damage during storms. As soon as any of your deciduous shrubs and trees have dropped their leaves it's time to start your winter pruning.
A 100mm layer of mulch around the garden now will stop weeds in their tracks. Use a fully composted mulch like Baileys Moisture Mulch to ensure you're not spreading weed seeds or disease.
Harvest any remaining pumpkins by cutting them from the vine with secateurs. Leave a handle of stem for longer storage life.
Winter weeds in lawns such as Jo Jo and annual winter grass begin germinating this month and a spray now will hit them at their most vulnerable stage.
If your lawn has become compacted over summer then coring, using not the garden fork but professional equipment, will help your grass by allowing air in down at root level. Rub fine compost such as Baileys Lawn Reviver or Soil Improver into the holes to add life giving organic matter.
If you didn't in April then pruning your roses back now will mean you get one more flush of flower in June. Roses need watching at this time of year for fungal problems of black spot rust and powdery mildew. Avoid watering over the foliage as this can encourage the spread of these diseases.
Spray peaches, nectarines, apricots and plum trees with copper based fungicides to combat shot hole and peach leaf curl diseases.