What to do in your garden in May

May is a very busy month in the garden with plants growing at a fast pace as the weather and soil warms up.

Regular hoeing will keep the weeds at bay and remember to keep checking plants for signs of pest attack. Don’t allow aphids or slugs to get a hold but deal with them at the first sign of attack.

Also, don’t forget to start feeding your beds, borders and veg patch for great results later in the season.

There’s always something to do now – seeds to be sown, and weeds to be removed, so make sure you keep on top of the jobs that need doing. Here’s our May tips to help you:


  • Beware late frosts and keep vulnerable plants and new shoots protected at night if there is a frost is forecast
  • Don’t be tempted to put out tender bedding until the middle of the month
  • Treat yourself to at least 1 great new plant before the best selection is gone
  • Water your garden regularly, even if rain is predicted
  • Now is the best time to start digging if you are thinking about having a pond
  • Clean bird feeders
  • Turn the compost
  • Hoe weeds
  • Prick out seedlings
  • Plant hanging baskets
  • Treat wood with a stain
  • Don’t forget to keep an eye out for those weeds and unwelcome pests in the garden.


  • Continue sowing veg, particularly salad crops, little and often.
  • Harvest overwintering onions, early varieties of beetroot and radishes
  • Harvest asparagus – If you’re not picking asparagus, get some planted for next year.
  • Plant onion sets
  • Protect crops from late frosts with Fleece
  • Fertilize vegetable beds
  • Place straw around early strawberries
  • Sow Beans
  • Earth up potatoes.


  • Tidy up the lawn, and if required re sow patches that look bare or damaged.
  • Reseed any bare patches and keep watered. Don’t mow until the new grass has reached 2″ to 3″, then mow on highest setting at first.
  • Mow regularly, aim to keep a constant length now for the rest of the year.


  • Time to sow the bedding plants
  • Prick out any seedlings that are ready
  • Sow seeds in cellular trays
  • Train and prune bushy Fuchsias


  • Wage war on slugs and snails – use pet-friendly slug pellets, drench the ground around hostas with liquid slug killer to exterminate slugs below the surface or invest in a biological control (nematodes deliver a lethal bacterial infection to slugs)
  • If you see snails pick them off….it’s up to you what you do with them.

Herbaceous borders

  • Plant out sweet pea plants.
  • Clear out and compost spring bedding.
  • Support tall perennials to prevent damage
  • Deadhead spring blooming bulbs, but leave their foliage until it turns yellow.
  • Deadhead early spring flowers like pansies and primroses as the blossoms fade and begin replacing them in containers with warm weather bloomers.
  • Help your flowers grow by giving them a good feed.
  • Divide jam-packed perennials.

Shrubs, trees, hedges

  • Check out spring flowering trees and shrubs while they are in bloom and make notes for future purchases.
  • Plant or transplant trees and shrubs before the heat of summer.
  • Protect blossoms from frost with Fleece
  • Water trees
  • Prune roses
  • Fertilise Roses and Shrubs
  • Trim and feed hedges.

Need more advice? Post a question on our Facebook wall or pop into the garden centre and talk to a member of our experienced garden team.