Gardening Jobs for the May Bank Holiday Weekend

Gardening Jobs for the May Bank Holiday Weekend

May is an incredibly busy month in the garden, as the increasingly warm temperatures cause all of our plants (and the weeds!) to put on a massive amount of growth, leading to there being many new jobs in the garden. Just keeping things ticking over in the garden during May can feel overwhelming, so try the little-and-often approach. If you are feeling overwhelmed by how much there is to do, perhaps you could spread these final May jobs over the whole bank holiday weekend.


Plant out half hardy seedlings

Now that we are nearing the end of May, we can see the weather forecast for the rest of the month, and it’s looking like we do not have a frost coming up! May is the absolute last month that a final frost can occur, and so (fingers crossed!), it should be safe to plant out all half hardy plants. In terms of annual flowers, this includes cosmos seedlings, nicotiana seedlings and nasturtiums. For our veggies, this means we can plant out beans and peas, as well as lettuce seedlings.

Now mow May

Here in the UK, we do something called No Mow May. This means across the country, landowners and councils will avoid mowing the grassy areas along the sides of roads, and sometimes even entire fields to allow the wildflowers to thrive, which of course is fantastic for biodiversity and for insect populations. On a smaller scale, we can all take part in No Mow May within our own gardens. Don’t worry, you don’t have to surrender your whole lawn to No Mow May. Instead, you could choose one area to leave unmown, such as under your fruit trees, or around your pond.

Water pots and beds more regularly

As the temperatures warm up significantly, you’ve got to get back in the habit of watering your pots and beds regularly. Remember that the smaller the pot, the quicker it will dry out, particularly if it’s in a warm cold-frame or greenhouse. If the weather is very warm, small pots will likely need watering daily! If you’re lucky enough to have an irrigation system, this will reduce your watering burden. If you have space to install a water butt, this will really improve the sustainability of your gardening, as it will reduce your tap water consumption; plus plants prefer rain-water, so it’s a win-win!



Do the Chelsea Chop!

The time around Chelsea Flower Show in late May marks the perfect moment for the Chelsea Chop. This means giving your perennials a little trim – in fact it’s beneficial to reduce each perennial by around a third, as this promotes stronger and healthier growth through the summer months, as well as prolonging the flowering season of your plants. I know it seems counterintuitive to cut off any precious spring growth, however you’ll thank me later as your borders and pots will be looking fabulous again in no time, and will stay looking fabulous for longer.

This is also a good time to lift and divide any overgrown perennials. To do this, simply dig out your perennial and chop through the roots so that you’re able to split the plant into two or three. Then simply replant one section in the hole you’ve made, and plant the others elsewhere, or you could gift the excess to friends & family!


Direct sow flower and vegetable seeds

If you have spaces in your flower borders, or would like to brighten up a forgotten corner of your garden, you could direct sow some flower seeds. This is a quick and cheap way to improve the appearance and the biodiversity of your garden. You could go for a wildflower seed selection, or a pack of beautiful poppy or ammi majus seeds. If you have any space in your veg beds, or you have some planters free, you could direct sow radish, spinach, lettuce or carrot seeds this month. Remember to make the most of the space between slower growing veggies, by adding in a row of fast growing radish or spring onions. These can be harvested before they get in the way of your slower growing veggies!

If you’d like to know my favourite seed brands, scroll to the bottom of this blog post.

Pot on seedlings

If you sowed tomato, pepper, chilli or aubergine seeds back in February or March, you likely pricked them out a little while ago now, and they may need moving on into bigger pots. If they’re stuck in 9cm pots, they are likely to be outgrowing their pots, which will stifle their growth. Move these seedlings on into larger pots, giving them more space to grow, and new compost to enjoy.

Reseed your lawn

If you have any gaps in your lawn, the best product to use is Miracle Gro’s Patch Magic. It really is magic; simply scatter the product on the affected areas, keep it watered and Patch Magic will do the rest! The reason that Patch Magic is better than regular grass seed is that it contains the growing medium coir, which protects the seeds while they begin to germinate, preventing them from being eaten by birds or blown away.