Top tips for keeping that much loved Christmas plant alive. We've tested a plant sensor and mixed it up with some good old gardening knowledge...
May be time to weed...
Anyone with a birthday in May knows what a funny month it is. It’s impossible to make plans for an outdoor event because the weather could be anything from a downpour to a heatwave. Snowfall is even possible. Those of us who were born in May have grown up having to adapt our birthday plans at the last minute. Which is a shame, given that the Taurean (born between April 20 and May 20) likes stability and dislikes sudden change.
Gardeners who like predictability will also dislike May because the unpredictability of the weather and the last frost makes it quite difficult to plan what tasks you should be doing this month. Luckily, gardening in May is exactly like running an empire – here are our top tips.
Order is key both in running an empire and keeping your garden in top shape. By May you should be mowing weekly to keep your lawn at its best. In addition, there are a number of plants that should be pruned at this time of year to encourage even growth, like the kerria, camellia, clematis and pieris. Spring flowering plants like rhododendrons should also be deadheaded, and climbing plants can be tied in.
Eliminate the enemy
All the Spring sunshine and rain is great for plants but unfortunately it’s also great for weeds, and you need to make sure you tackle these before they take over the garden. Deweed religiously – you might need a hoe to hack through the flower beds.
Divide and Rule
A number of plants will start to spread uncontrollably unless you assert your power over them. This is the time to decide what you want and where. Divide your hostas as they come into growth, and remove unwanted forget-me-nots and cut down flowered stems to prevent self-seeding where it’s unwanted. Lift bulbs like tulips after their flowers fade, ready for replanting where you want them most.
Look after your subjects
Just like citizens of an empire, plants have minimum needs. Feed and water them – especially your container plants – and repot or add additional compost. Plant summer annuals and replant Dahlias, but watch out for the frost. You can also start to acclimatize tender vegetable seedlings, ready to be planted out after the frost.