10 things to do in your May garden
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Essential jobs to get your outdoor space ready for summer.
1. Sow grass seed or lay new turf by the end of this month, to create a new lawn or repair damaged patches. Ensure foot traffic is kept to a minimum and water regularly. Within a couple of weeks, you will have a lush patch of lawn. Once established, mow lawns weekly.
2. Plant up hanging baskets, but keep them in a greenhouse or porch for a few weeks to establish, before putting outside.
3. Sow batches of salad leaves and stir-fry crops every few weeks to provide continuous pickings
4. It is important to keep plants irrigated, particularly in pots and containers. Place saucers under pots with thirsty plants. Install a water butt and recycle water as much as possible.
5. Watch out for aphids on shoot tips and young foliage. On strong plants, wash the aphids off with a hose so they can eaten by beneficial insects, or wipe them away with a soap solution – half a teaspoon of water in a litre of water - to avoid using harmful pesticides.
6..Trim evergreen hedges, but always check there are no active nests that could be disturbed.
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7. If you have a pond, sieve out excess weed regularly and make sure the pumps and filters are clean. Taking our dying leaves from water lilies and adding more aquatic plants will benefit wildlife.
8. Earth up potatoes, covering the shoots with soil as they appear and promptly plant any still remaining
9 . Tie new shoots of climbing plants, including clematis, wisteria and honeysuckle, to their supports
10. If you have a greenhouse, open the door on particularly warm days. Water thirsty crops such as tomatoes, cucumbers and courgettes regularly and tie the stems of tomatoes, cucumbers and aubergines to canes as they grow.