Here’s what needs to be happening in the garden during May.

Whatever the weather brings, the days will be getting longer. So will the grass: you could consider leaving blocks of grass to grow during the summer, which will save on the mowing and provide a habitat for wildlife. While it may be hot during the days, nights can still be chilly and there could be frosts.

Among the changing months, May stands confest
The sweetest, and in fairest colours dressed.

James Thomson (from Ednam, Roxburghshire)

  • Start making comfrey juice from comfrey leaves.
  • Start hardening off young half-hardy plants, still alert to late frosts.
  • Continue sowing vegetable and flower seeds directly into the ground.
  • Sow and carefully harden off half-hardy plants.
  • Thin seedlings.
  • Put straw under strawberries.
  • Continue to weed, hoe and mulch. Water plants if necessary. Watch out for slugs and other pests.
  • Plant summer-flowering bulbs, such as lilies.
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