Thursday, May 8, 2008

May in the Garden


Reflect on your garden and plan for any changes. This is good time to think about all the changes you want to make and plan to do them in the next few months. It is also a time when the first of the winter rains usually strike bringing summer to an abrupt end.

Plants at this time of the year are very vulnerable to early frosts. Take some time out to erect frost protection structures if required.

Ornamental Garden

· Trim back perennials and lift and divide those perennials that have become too big or are starting to decline in vigor because they are to cramped. Use some extra compost to replenish the soil.

· Finish planting annuals for spring display. These include stocks, wallflowers, polyanthus, Myosotis, Sweet William, pansies, violas and Calendula.

· Plant lilies and nerines in new positions. Lift, plant and divide lilies in one operation.

· Manure helleborus with liquid fertiliser until flowers show or apply a short term slow release fertiliser for better displays.

· Prune dead heads off hydrangeas.

· Spray plants for scale insects, pests and diseases using all seasons spraying oil.

· Transplant trees and shrubs to new positions, do this before you go out and buy new ones.

· Start planting new trees and shrubs in there permanent positions.

Vegetable Garden

· Sow broad beans

· Continue succession planting of cabbages, cauliflower's broccoli and silverbeet.

· Plant green crops in the garden to protect the soil and provide future green material to dig into the ground to provide humus.

· Complete the harvesting of vegetables and fruit.


· Remove old tomato vines and other plants and clean out all the old leaves and material that might harbour pests and diseases. Cultivate the ground and apply a mulch of pea straw to protect the soil over winter.

· Wash down both the inside and outside of the glasshouse with detergent to keep it clean and pest and disease free.

Indoor Plants

· Reduce the amount of water given to pot plants.

· If frosty shift susceptible plants away from the windows.

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